"I first met Furk and Trynka Zhenk in the '60's when I was an AFS student in Biôt, France. I was having a terrible time with the language and culture (so were they... their Finnish-Maltese and Finnish-Romanian backgrounds didn't prepare them for the impatient French). We kept in touch, and we each started playing in bands and writing songs at about the same time. They did very well, but I was on a university track so music took a back seat to my studies. I did continue to slip them the occasional tune now and then, which to my surprise they recorded. I was the only person I knew who 'worked his way through college' on song royalties, although I was never credited on their records since the European Song Guild was boycotting American writers as a protest against the war in Vietnam.
The early '70's were a time of rethinking and re-positioning for the band. Furk and Trynka sought a reconciliation with their father, Steg Zhenk (the peripatetic Senior Sales Administrator for Finland's Bonk Business and someone who had no qualms about mixing business with pleasure... hence his offspring by two different mothers) while breaking-up and reforming almost monthly. Although their recording output was sparse, I kept their spirit alive: I can honestly say that without Kilopop!, there would have been no Waitresses... since I based my group's sound, lyrical slant and presentation 100% on them. They noticed, and this time it was me inspiring them, for in the mid '80's they roared back with a vengeance, and stayed creatively active right up until the present.
Our friendship has certainly had its ups and downs over the years, and although I can now look back and laugh at most of the questionable business pranks pulled by Andrea van Kuijk, their manager, I am glad that we've remained friends and are all working together to bring "Un Petit Goûter" to American listeners. Once again, the myopia of the major labels (all of whom passed on this project) is 'corrected' by the 'far-sightedness' of a scruffy independent label... mine! I hope you enjoy these lost classics from a truly authentic (and deserving) band."
-Chris Butler, June '01
...and others agree:
"It's not that Kilopop have been tragically overlooked in the rock history books. It's not that this group curiously mirrored every major pop trend of the past 35 years without causing a blip on the cultural radar. It's not that these recordings testify how years before the uproar about Frankenfood, Kilopop was attempting to fill peoples' ears with Frankentunes. No, it's not these things at all."
"Kilopop! me rend à la lune! La nouvelle collection sera l'accomplissement définitif de l'histoire de la musique populaire Européen du XXième siècle; je l'attend sans sommeil, sans mangeant, même sans soufflant."
Pierre François de la Briosche,
Äntligen finns hit-samlingen av gruppen Kilopop! utgiven på skivbolaget Future Fossil Records i USA. Bandet hade en rad hits från 1966 fram till slutet av 90- talet då de åter låg på topplistorna med "Millions and Millions". Ni minns kanske hitsen "Heaven can Hurt" och "Red Drinks! Red Drinks!" från 1973 och -74? De åren var det ABBA som vann Eurovisionsschlagern, men "Heaven Can Hurt" kom på andra plats!
Tack vare en vän till dem i New York, Chris Butler från gruppen The Waitresses, så har Future Fossil Records licenserat gruppens musik och några andra rariteter, t ex en cover på Shaggs-låten "Who are Parents", demo versionen av "Millions and Millions" mm. Man slås av hur fräscht materialet låter än idag. Det är välskriven pop med refränger som bara inte släpper! Vilken begåvning denna grupp visade för renodlad, tidlös ur-pop. Bara produktionen skiljer de årtionden som gått. Sången låter lika pigg nu som på 60- talet!
Syskona Trynka och Furk leder bandet sedan 1965 och är verksamma än idag. Förra månaden var Trynka aktuell i nyheterna då hon blev arresterad och satt i fängelse på St. Tropez - efter att ha deltagit i en anti- Bush demonstration. Enligt TT Reuters så släpptes hon efter två veckor samtidigt som brodern Furk, managern och andra försökte slå sej in i fängelset för att befria henne, och åkte in istället! Ett tokigt gäng minsann... Kilopop! Missa inte denna samling!!
|The "FURK IS DEAD" Saga|
A rare chance to hear the creative process at work:
Here's an mp3 of a track called "Keith Moon!", a 4-track demo recorded by Furk Zhenk for the sessions for the album which became "Anoraknophobia".
In early 2003 some 500 hours of Beatles' 'Let It Be' tapes were found in a warehouse in Holland. But a little known fact is that - among the pile of tape boxes - was a mysterious unmarked reel. Apparently, the thieves who grabbed the Beatles material also grabbed a Kilopop! demo session dating from the late '80's that even Furk had forgotten about. Too broke to hire out Abbey Road's better rooms, the K's had booked themselves in Studio D (the little room in the basement behind the furnace & where the staff stored the Christmas lights and Hoovers)... and this material has come into our possession! Here we have one of the tunes cleaned up and digitized (I think the title is "The Candy" - no info listed on the tape box).
Butler/©2001 Future Fossil Music. All rights reserved.|