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Jori Hulkkonen

Jori Hulkkonen

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Jori Hulkkonen (born 28 September 1973) hails from the northern town of Kemi, Finland. Raised up around the Arctic Circle, below freezing point and under the influence of a coctail of synthpop and early electro, house and techno handily available from the Swedish radio, Jori quickly developed a taste, and more importantly, a passion for electronic music. With no musical education or any backround in playing any instruments Jori started to experiment with electronics in 1988 and soon became addicted to making music.

After running his own label Lumi Records with likeminded friends (Tuomas Salmela, Jukka Hautamäki and Ari Ruokamo) in the early 90's, he then released some raw jacking Chicago oriented tracks on labels such as the Italian ACV and Swedish Cari Lekebusch's Hybrid before signing an artist contract with Laurent Garnier's legendary F communications imprint, and releasing his debut album Selkäsaari Tracks in 1996.

Aside from his increasingly versatile, more listening oriented album releases under his real name on F communications, Jori has had a habit of releasing more DJ-friendly music under dozens of various pseudonyms on labels such as Vinyl Piece, Get Physical Music, Turbo, Sähkö/Keys Of Life, Dessous, Stickman and Rekids just to name a few. Jori is also known to collaborate on frequent basis with fellow-Finn Tuomas Salmela, when they are known as Step Time Orchestra, DisCemi, or Fancy Robots for example.

One pseudonym/collaboration in 2001, namely as Zyntherius with a certain Tiga on DJ Hell's Gigolo imprint resulted the quarter of a million selling Sunglasses At Night, a version of Corey Hart’s 1980s hit, including a Top Of The Pops performance.

Jori is also known as a very busy remixer. Remodelling tracks since the mid 90's for artists such as The Presets, Goldfrapp, Chromeo, Robyn, M83, Cabaret Voltaire or José Gonzales (who returned the remix favour by doing a vocal on Jori's 2005 album Dualizm) has kept him in demand whenever a floor oriented re-vamp has been needed. He has worked on remixes to Telepopmusik's second single Love Can Damage Your Health.

And then there's also the DJ-persona who has travelled around the world on all continents for over a decade bringing the latest, rarest and classic (or soon to be) jams for the dancing audiences in all the quality clubs and festivals. Jori also holds a slot on the national radio YleX in Finland since 1998 where he plays a selection of what's in his recordbox.

2008 looks like yet another busy year for the man DJ mag dubbed as "the most underrated producer in the world": already out is his ninth artist album, Errare Machinale Est (F communications/Pias), his most ambitious yet. Featuring vocals from artists as diverse as John Foxx (of Ultravox -fame), Jimi Tenor, Ernesto and Justine Electra, it combines many aspects of Jori's current musical interests from downtempo singer-sonwriter stuff to uptempo abstract avantgarde synthpop. In addition, he's working on a dancefloor targeted album for the Canadian label Turbo, this time under his Fenno-Baron guise.


His selfwritten bio for Turbo CD 028 / 
Jori Hulkkonen

The world we live in, on a very fundamental level, is flawed.

On the eve of my tenth album release I'm still writing my own bio and wondering if I should refer to myself in third person, analyze the past 15 years and justify bad career moves as artistic integrity, and promote myself as the unsung hero of techno and house; a mere victim of poorly timed strokes of genius (numerous!) and being born in the wrong part of the world.

Well, sarcasm never really did become me, and irony works only if unnoticed. Double fail.

It's easy enough to google up some old Jori Hulkkonen bio with real biographical info, or check out my discography from my website so I'll spare you the boring details of my "career".

Ever since the late 80's when my obsession with all things music started to manifest itself with an increasingly verstaile record collection and eventually some synths and experiments in songwriting, it has been quite clear to me that I'm destined to create my life's work within the business. The problem is that as an idealist cynic with tight grip on realism I'm well aware that 'the biz' is a sinking ship more or less, and I'm already dancerously close to the waterline. But the good news is that I stopped caring.

Here's why:

Having released my first proper artist album in 1996 for the French label F communications (defunct now since 2008, with my album "Errare Machinale Est" as their final release -coincidence?), I've managed to do something I never thought would be possible, something that I'm the most proud of all things in my career: never becoming popular.

After nine albums, dozens of pseudonym releases on superhot labels (like Rekids and Get Physical just to mention a couple from the past few years), close to a hundred remixes, my own radioshow on national radio for more than a decade (in Finland though, so it may not count), thousands of DJ gigs all over the world under my belt (OK I never actually counted but a quick calculation tells me it must be close to 2000 now), producing and writing songs for the likes of Tiga (whom I created in the first place), and having a reputation as a producer who can make an 808 kickdrum sound like a jazzy flute, you'd expect that there was a time when I was The Shit. But I never was!

Sure enough there's a lot people who never were "big", but are they still working? Releasing albums, singles, getting remix requests and DJing all over after 15 years? No. But I am. And this I see as my greatest achievement and there's a lesson to be learned everyone: If you never become trendy it's impossible for you to become untrendy.

Will all this change now though with my hotter than hot new album on Turbo, or the buzz around my Acid Symphony Orchestra (a piece I wrote for ten tb-303's and a 707, conducted by me)? Or the rumoured collaboration with Chris Lowe of the Pet Shop Boys?

It remains to be seen but I'm dedicated to give my best shot to not let it happen.

Man From Earth, my tenth studio album, is the first "Jori Hulkkonen" album not released on the now defunct F communications.

How will this change of label affect my sound? Is this the end of ballads, jazz and ambient? Of course not -not even for me - but the album is a deliberate (as in not forced) departure from the bedroom vibes with focus on jams for the dance crowds.

Recorded at my alppIVhouz studios, most of the tracks were intended for 12" singles so they are not album tracks as such, therefore the album is maybe not as coherent and subtle as some of my previous efforts. But what it may lack in atmospheric synthpads, "scandinavian mooddesign" and social commentary it makes up in catchy basslines, sizzling hihats and semi-danceable tracks.


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