Janko, Krul’ Albanskaj was a project by one Henry Zalkin. His given name was Heikki Huhtanen. Zalkin was a musician, writer, interpreter and an enthusiastic person of many interests: industrial and electronic music, languages, politics, cult movies, literature and anything possible in popular culture.
In addition to Janko, Krul’ Albanskaj, Henry Zalkin had a number of other music projects, most of them remaining unknown to public. An exception is Bulimia, an ethno-industrial project somewhat influenced by Muslimgauze, that had tracks released on several compilation albums in the mid 90’s. He also played classical music in an orchestra in Helsinki, samples of which he used in some of his own music.
During 1999 Zalkin was giving the finishing touches to a Janko, Krul’ Albanskaj album to be released on the Finnish label Some Place Else. It was only some weeks after he had delivered the completed material that the bad news arrived. Zalkin had died on heart attack on September 5, 1999. He was 24 years old.
The album was released in early 2001. It bears a cryptic title Ekezhhm, Gyuvel Pyuganlahkh Aektspyud?, the meaning of which probably only Zalkin knew. It remains Zalkin’s only full-length album to date.
CD, edition of 500 copies.
“Janko Krul Albanskaj is the work of the late Heikki Huhtanen a.k.a. Henry Zalkin. Utilizing a collage of disparate sound sources (samples galore: from third world ambience to classical diversions to radio noise… to noise itself, and more!), Janko Krul Albanskaj manipulated the sounds into brittle sonic texts of confusion and chaos.
Three of the four tracks clearly follow a cut and paste, mold and kneed ideology to creation. Distinct sounds bubble to the forefront, take command, and slink back, meshing with the miasma that gurgles below. A classical piece falls by the wayside as world textures skim the surface (Quouack En Maksymardysh); disjointed glitch-like Morse-code timbres dance with singing children (Mokshapark); while caustic techno is enveloped in noise pyrotechnics (Diabolicum KÄYR).
Track two, on the other hand, the 46-minute Mockba, is a dense, molten, raging ocean of kinetic white noise, a sonic vortex! As it evolves, imitation is evident, assimilating the pulse of life within an electronic sound-field as the furiously wind-eroded turbulence tumbles forth. At about the 25-minute mark, classical music slips into focus, the turbulence held at bay. The remainder of the track balances noise and sporadic classical music, masterfully so.
Another unique venture from Finland’s (as I like to say) always fascinating (trust me, it’s Always Fascinating!) Some Place Else.”
(JCS / Side-Line )
“Janko, Krul’ Albanskaj: Ekezhhm, Gyuvel Pyuganlahkh Aektspyud? – file under “sample terrorism” the sleeve says. Which to some degree does go away to describe this release from the Finnish label Some Place Else. Though given that of the 4 tracks, the 2nd takes up most of the album it tends to be that piece which will influence your lasting impression of the album as a whole. Mockba is 46 minutes long and mixes layered sounds so that it lies somewhere between a noise piece and a soundscape – though even at the noise end it is not out-and-out harsh ear bleeding stuff, rather it is textured and fits into the flow of sound. At times the sample based theory comes to the fore, snatches of tune which are more present in the other tracks bubble to the recontextualised surface, reminding you that everything you hear probably started off as a totally different sound before ending up here. Your lasting memory of this piece will be its epic scale scapeness, but as you listen to it those snatches are the things that will introduce the elements of unpredictability in the music and curiosity in the listener.
The remaining three tracks range from 5 minutes to 10 and bring the total length of the release to 70 minutes. I think in some ways having more tracks in this sort of range is easier on the listener’s comprehension – too easy for long pieces to become a blur – though of course that depends on the listener as well as the artist. Certainly I find the other three tracks to be of more interest to me.
A squeak and creak starts Quouquack En Maksymardysh, though other sounds quickly join in. in the fore isolated violin strokes, in the back the whole piece. Sampled melodies mix – folky, orchestral, melodic, pompous. At times clear and others mixing elements in layers of sound. The result tending to maintain a melodic overtone, increasingly reliant on an orchestral source. With this kind of piece the feel is a thing in flux – voices coming up as a Soviet choir, then a speech, then conversation – music keeping pace with those voices.
Mokshapark combines the impression of a cutup core, with the clash of tuned radio stations. Buzz of movement along radio wave, while a tribal choir sings and voices from various sources weave through. With this there is a sense of glitch and popping surface – minimal elements within the random snips and underlying bass sound. Snips which exhibit a certain repetitiveness in their looped nature.
Diabolicum KÄYR mixes a plodding techno beat with washes of electronic static waves. Buzz and distort – solid moment, then dissipated. Working in shifting layers against the constant of the beat and moments of clear dialogue. In some ways sharing an idea of Mockba, but with different focus and intent. Increasingly noisy as it progresses. Within the hissing layers the beats seems to slow, like a faltering hypnotic heart. Though as the waves break for moments the perverted techno attempts to remain.”