Kai Johansson

Repenter / Serene Field



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Federico Fellini once said, “Talking about dreams is like talking about movies since the cinema uses the language of dreams.” I don’t mind talking about movies, but, despite what Fellini says, I tend to find it unbearable when people try to explain the incoherent mess that their subconsciousness cooked up for them last night. And I know I am not alone in this.

Another famous quote mistakenly credited to an all-star cast from Laurie Anderson to Frank Zappa is “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.” Years ago, Kai told me about a dream he had where he was rummaging through record bins at a local record store and, to his great surprise, came across his own solo album. And I had written the liner notes to it.

This single features soundtracks to two of Kai’s dreams, and, I guess to come a full circle, he has asked me to do the honors of twisting to Frank Gehry. The tracks are built with samples from obscure jazz cuts that Kai has the knack for unearthing and subtle synth licks that work as glue.

I’m not sure if I have ever had a dream where I am dancing in slow motion with feathers floating around me, but if I ever do, I’m pretty sure I will be doing it to the tune of “Serene Field.” But, of course, it could also work for one of those flying dreams that people apparently have. From what I have read, flying in a dream might mean reaching a higher spiritual plane — or that you have an inflated sense of self. Your call.

“Repenter” sounds to me like one of those dreams where you are being chased, and you wake up just as you’re about to make the escape. Those dreams apparently might mean that you are having issues coping with something in your life. So if you ever find yourself in one of those dreams, do yourself a favor and stop to check if you’re running away from yourself and try to talk it through.

Armed with a Roland SP-404 and Korg Minilogue, Kai has succeeded with the impossible: this way, you can actually find someone else’s dreams fascinating. So get rid of your dream journals, people. Instead, I want to hear you attempt to reconstruct your dreams with a sampler from now on.

– Toni Laakso


All instruments, mixing & production: Kai Johansson
Mastered by: Tommi Langen at tapeover
Photo: Harri Sippola
Cover design: Arsi Keva
Risography: Jukka Nousiainen