Matti Järvinen

Svart Records is happy to present a luxurious anniversary edition of Matin levy. Put together in co-operation with Matti Järvinen, the set includes a 7″ with demo takes of songs that became Matin levy and a full 12″ LP with home demos of songs meant for a 2nd album that never happened. The set is packaged in a triple gatefold jacket and includes a 12 page booklet with liner notes and more.

It’s one of the many unfortunate events in Finnish pop music that Matti Järvinen released only one solo album. Järvinen stepped out of the music scene soon after Matin levy (Hi-Hat, 1976) was released and hasn’t released anything since.

The album wasn’t a commercial success in its time. The critics loved it and later it became a cult classic. 40 years after the album release people are still talking about it – and trying to get hold of the original vinyl pressing.

Matti Järvinen (b. 1955 in Vaasa, Finland) can be described as a real multi-talent: he plays all the instruments on the album except for the drums and the bass (that are played by Urpo “Upi” Sorvali and Ilkka Hanski). Järvinen also designed and drew the cover art.

Matin levy was Järvinen’s artistic statement. At the time it was recorded he was already frustrated with life on the road and only did a few gigs after the album release (with Upi Sorvali, Harri Merilahti and Kari Kuusamo in the lineup). According to interviews from the time he spent all his spare time playing music. Many of the songs were originally sketched while he was on tour with his previous bands SP Insect and The Matthews. He made some very interesting and ambitious home demos with several overdubs (some of the demos are included on the bonus lp and 7 inch) playing all the instruments.

The bonus demos included here have never been released before and they offer a straightforward glimpse of how Järvinen wrote his songs. Some of his demos were close to being finished songs, for example Miljoonat (Millions)that is one of the highlights from his demos. A political song with social criticism as Järvinen sings about poverty and war

Perhaps the most astonishing and ambitious demo from the bunch is the 16-minute epic prog song Haaksirikko (Shipwreck) – possibly the best example of Järvinen’s enthusiasm towards progressive rock with melancholy and world-weary lyrics. The demo has clear, melodic ideas for several songs. It’s also the demo Järvinen definitely wanted to include to this anniversary edition. Like the album, these unreleased recordings also represent the talent that Järvinen has as he plays all the instruments.

The record didn’t succeed commercially and as Järvinen didn’t enjoy touring Matin levy ended up being the only album Järvinen made. For the past 40 years the good-humored man has been working in Kerava with the mentally handicapped. He still plays music daily – at work and for his own pleasure. He’s a little embarrassed of the album and very modest about it even though it’s an undeniable classic with some really inventive stuff.

“My first thought about this re-release was:  are there really people that still want to hear it…”