Sat. Nov 28th, 2020

11.1.2020 SITOI @ Ääniwalli, Helsinki

I first discovered SITOI last year and found myself impressed by her intriguing and threatening aesthetics. Fortunately, that was literally just a scratch on the surface, and “Kyyhky” became one of my favorite releases of 2019. It brought something new and interesting to the soundscape of Finland. When the EP was followed by an announcement for a release party at Ääniwalli, skipping the show wasn’t an option. Don’t forget to check out our photo gallery here.

In case you haven’t been to Ääniwalli, it was a perfect choice of venue for this event. The dark, industrial space created just the atmosphere to create anticipation and flow of thoughts. EXPLOITED BODY (Noah Kin, the founder of Changeless Records) played a fitting DJ Set before the actual gig, surrounded by television’s playing black and white noise. The floor was getting nicely crowded as the showtime was getting closer.

For me, there’s a clear difference between having a plain gig and doing a performance, where SITOI was clearly aligned with the latter one. As she entered the stage and sat down, she almost felt like a being from outer space. SITOI let her powerful gaze go through the audience, almost looking as though she was wondering how she had ended up there. The movements of her body and hands looked uncontrollable until SITOI finally started to walk around the stage. She was especially interested in the satchel that was hanging from the ceiling, which she carried with her as she moved around the stage.

Right from the beginning, SITOI managed to isolate our minds and presence from everything outside of that space. Resulting from the movements around me and including me, the audience was almost in a trance-like state of mind, but still with a full focus towards what was happening on stage. You didn’t want to blink and miss something. Every word and every nuance of SITOI felt like it had an important meaning, going through our ears like a sharpened sword. During “Ytimeni” (translation = core) we were back with interacting with the ceiling sack. I’m not a master of metaphors, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the sack was representing SITOI’s core. During the song, she seemed to be worried about her core, and it had to be opened. SITOI then carried the insides of her core across the floor, which wasn’t as graphic as it sounds, but feel free to let your imagination play some tricks on you.

What was supposedly a 30-40 minute long performance, felt positively much longer. It isn’t always easy to create the illusion of power and control when you’re alone on the stage, but with SITOI there were no signs of holding back or even slight insecurity. It was beautiful, it was fragile, it was intense, it was a bit frightening, it was SITOI. If you’re not afraid of experiencing something possibly distressing and dark, stay updated on chances to experience her performances. Or give a listen to “Kyyhky” once or twice, you will see if it’s something you’d enjoy. Either way, I’m excited to see more of SITOI in the future and what other artists Changeless Records is going to introduce to us.

Photos and article by Lassi Saarinen

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