This is a collection of stories from the past years:
Sampo Ruohomäki and Lauri Nousiainen had heard already during their high school years that the Helsinki University of Technology student body had various hobbyist clubs, and at the student information event they heard that if there wasn’t a club to their liking they could start their own. Immediately as they were accepted to HUT they formed a techno club:
“The beginning was puzzling, but about as soon as we had learnt how to use email, we asked secretary for clubs of the student body Ari Väisänen how a techno music club can be founded. He told us that the first thing to do is survey the number of interested people before actually forming the club. At this point the main aim was just the formation of the club, not that much planning for the future.”
“We informed about our intentions in news groups as well as on the notice boards of HUT. Around thirty interested people contacted us. We asked Ari Väisänen for more guidance and the result was to have a founding meeting. We reserved a room from Dipoli (at least in those days Dipoli’s spaces were free for TKY members.)”
The date of the meeting was 4.11.1993. A home stereo system was brought over, and relating music was played through the speakers. There were a handful of people at the meeting due to the email adverts as well as HUT notice board posters. The innovative poster called for the “HUT main auditorium to be changed to a giant subwoofer”. Tuomas Lähdeoja remembers the monumental meeting:
“The official club founding meeting was somewhat odd. People seemed to be slightly lost and uneasy. Väiski was sitting in the back of the room mumbling from beneath his beard, and one of the ‘acts’ was the ‘who are you and what are you doing here’ speech similar to that of first day in primary school.”
For the association to become ratified, another meeting was required. During that meeting the name of the association was agreed upon. There was no name above others, so a number of suggestions were drawn on a board. One of the participants had a physics book size of a brick with him, and suitable names were searched from the back index of the book. One such name was Entropy, which was then put forward for voting. Another example was ORAVA – Otaniemi Rave Association. Random pairs were formed from which the other one was voted out. Of those that made it through the first round, another round of votes were freely given to your preferred candidate. “Entropy” won.
The first aim of the association was to bring people interested in techno together, not so much to organise parties. Unlike today, electronic music was both relatively unknown as well as not very accessible, so already connections to other technoheads were important. Entropy’s first event was a music listening evening, which was later named Boing Boom Tschak 1.
Lauri Nousiainen had stopped studying at HUT that year and moved to Helsinki to study. Sampo Ruohomäki’s grades were plummeting, and less time could be thus given to Entropy. Without a strong spokesman for the group the association almost died out. Bureaucratically the one necessary yearly meeting was held, although it was hard to find participants even for that. Early autumn Sampo Ruohomäki left for military service, but he had not delegated Entropy’s responsibilities to anyone, although a vice-chairman had been elected. During the academic year 1994 – 1995 nothing happened.
Sampo Ruohomäki almost let Entropy die a quiet death, but Jani Patokallio who had recently become an enthusiastic techno party goer heard about this and contacted Entropy. Within no time there were opinions raised for not to let Entropy cease to exist. Jani took control of the association and begun to organise the Ambient Sauna -party along with 15 other members.
“One day in January a mixed crowd got together in Cantina. I didn’t know anybody, but neither did almost anyone else. We decided to form an email list and start thinking about a party. Everything started to fall in place and the chosen venue was Rantasauna, PA and DJs were the responsibility of Tim Ollikainen (who was a valuable asset in the beginning!), I did the flyer from the Lyapunov-pattern with Deluxe Paint on my Amiga, and printed it on a matrix printer, and so on. The party was held on 9.3.1996 and they were such a success that some money was even left over. As we had proven that a good techno party could be held in Otaniemi, our early pessimism began to fade and we were ready to expand our activities. On 27.3. I was unanimously voted as the new chairman of Entropy; at the same meeting we chose to adopt Sampo’s gearwheel e-logo as the symbol for Entropy. (My own suggestion of the smiley gearwheel did not gain support, better that way!) At the same time I became the dictator as Kenneth Falck replied to one of my emails :”Ja, mein Führer.””
26.4. was Part E, Entropy’s first Smökki party. In September there was F-Trap and a new concept, techno room Cubensis in Lakinlaskijaiset at Dipoli. 23.11. the legendary D-Base was organised, which later was voted as the best UG party of 1996.
It was time for the wildest project up to that date; the fusion of techno and industrial in a spectacle called Oblast. The planning of the project and building of props had already began in the autumn. Endless amounts of weird flyers, posters, and web pages appraised the mythical Strobodan Teknosevic, the dictator of People’s Entropistic Republic, appeared in Otaniemi in January. We scared the ordinary students for a week in the hall of the main building wearing military clothing (“Are they communists?” “No, they are Nazis…”) and Strobodan’s birthday arrived on February 1st, 1997. The attendance was unfortunately limited compared to the expectations and the amount of work — about 200 people — but we had a good time and didn’t even lose any money in the end.
Activities continued. There were nearly monthly parties and in July 1997 we organized our first bus trip to Love Parade in Berlin with 46 people. Out first open air party, Smultron, was held on August 23rd. One month later we took over the main building’s men’s toilet with the Ambient Toilet event. Around the same time Entropy’s political wing People’s Entropistic Party successfully took part in the student union’s Representative Council election: the long-standing technical guru Panu Hiekkataipale was selected as a representative. Manipulation of media continued elsewhere — we started collaboration with OUBS and Radio Entropy’s first broadcast took place on November 11th, 1997.
A party named Ankh was held at TF in Otaniemi in late October. Sasu Kotamäki, who had been working at a couple of events, was a member of TF and organized the rental of the venue. Jani realized that Entropy was taking up too much time and energy and delegated the responsibility for organizing the party (to date our largest project) to Sasu. The budget had swollen unearthly large compared to our previous parties, but even so the party made a profit. Sasu was chosen as Entropy’s chairman on November 7th, 1997.
17.3.1998 Jani Patokallio left for Japan, and there were hectic times ahead for Entropy: again our largest project to date, Technique. Sasu Kotamäki remembers how the party was organised in co-operation with Hytky:
“Technique was mentally an absurdly harsh ordeal. I learned a lot, I lost a lot, like many others; I and Hytky’s chairman Jari were chiefly responsible and took the event quite hard mentally. It is still a bit difficult to talk about Technique and I don’t really feel like talking about it. In reality nothing else really went awry other than that there were not nearly enough people. Okay, the budget did swell unfeasibly, the lights alone cost nearly 12 000 marks, but boy were they fancy (a small cautious smile :). There were a lot of parties back then and not enough people anywhere, most parties made a loss. How much did we lose? 14 000 marks.
After the summer there were again many events held, and these were again profitable. Many new members joined Entropy. The Entropy 5-years party was held on November 14th, 1998.
Entropy was part of the burial ceremonies of the legendary Lepakko club with a party called Tuho (Destruction).
In early 2000 Entropy started running a club in Helsinki for the first time. Club Elements started as a Wednesday club, but quickly turned into a full-fledged Saturday club. The venue, Arkku, was known for its repulsive furnishings, but in the hands of the entropians was transformed each time into a different, stunning fantasy world. On the main floor big-name foreign guest DJs played trance and house, but on the other floor the organization presented its own artists and more marginal music styles. Both floors were packed full: on the best nights there were more than a thousand guests.
The responsibility for organizing Elements was mainly on the shoulders of Entropy’s younger members, for whom club culture was a more natural thing than old-school underground parties.
“I wasn’t very actively involved anymore when Elements took place, but the risks of the club terrified me a little. Fortunately everything went well in the end,” recalls Jani Patokallio.
Occasionally there was friction between generations:
“The club caused a lot of resistance in some of the older members, who felt that with Elements Entropy took a step to the wrong, commercial direction,” Sasu Kotamäki explains.
Thanks to the success of the Elements, the organization could buy its own PA. On the other hand, the amount of work involved in running a continuous club night exhausted many members.
The follower of Elements and so far the last club of Entropy was Club Cutting Edge which started in former Tiger in Yrjönkatu in October 2001. Parties were held on Sundays and the concept was lighter than the one with the debute club.
As the year 2002 was coming to a close the organisation had almost hundred events behind it, and a little less than a thousand registered members.
“Our original goal, bringing together people interested in techno music, has been achieved”, says Sampo, obviously pleased.
“I think Entropy’s greatest achievement has been offering a non-commercial and a bit different option for the party people in the Helsinki area”, says Sasu.
An alternative mentality will continue in the future as for the next spring a party has been planned, which includes psy-trance at another stage and drum and bass at the other.
The organization is still run mostly by a group of a dozen or so active members. Sampo, Jani and Sasu all consider it important for Entropy’s future that there is a turnover of active members and that the core group can renew itself. The activities of the organization were developed to a more open direction during 2002 and new members were sought for instance from HUT’s freshmen events.
Chairman Olli-Pekka Lehto together with Esa Ojansivu steered the planning of the 10th anniversary through the year. The huge project was made possible by the increased number of members — including supporting members Entropy had around 1250 members. The organization was officially registered and Entropy became Entropy ry (registered association) on September 25th, 2003.
The oldest functional party organization in Finland was celebrated on November 1st. E10V party’s headliner was Marusha, the legendary techno lady from Germany. The 2000 tickets were sold out in advance. In spite of meticulous planning the incomprehensible security checks by Jutom Security caused the lines to stretch out from the old VR Makasiinit all the way to Kiasma Museum. The other cause of worry were the strict volume limits mandated on the venue.
The last episode for the legendary bun.ka party series was held in august. Since family student houses were being built next to Smökki, this was the last chance to bless the student village with banging techno all the way to 7 in the morning.
Entropy and Hytky co-operated in bringing Berlin Bonbon party to life. Sweetn.Candy – (live) + Unrath & Krämpel (DJ set) were brought all the way from Berlin.
In October, the Kasvihuoneilmiö forest party was organised. Thanks to a big campfire, great atmosphere and a couple of army tents, even the most un-hardened hippy was able to manage throughout the entire night in the forest.
In December 2005 there was a sold-out jungle / drum’n’bass party Decompression at Casa Academica. Sweaty!
When the legendary Tresor club from Berlin shut down the previous year, Entropy was asked to participate in the Tresor – It’s Not Over – tour. In February Entropy organised the year’s largest underground event. Entropy presents: Tresor. It’s Not Over included for example the following DJs: Surgeon, Todd Bodine and Leo Laker.
1st of April Entropy co-organised a party with Housenation club at Kaapelitehdas. The Entropy stage’s main acts were Midimiliz and Kox Box. Entropy also organised a club lounge and the agreement included the use of Entropy’s PA-system at the drum and bass arena. The party was an overall success, but the Entropy members were a little exhausted as the main organiser had to rely so much on their professionalism, knowledge and cheap labor. The organisation decided about the co-operation during the summer of 2005 after which the idea was left to be perfected for a couple of months before the idea for Midimiliz came up. Sadly of the original decision makers not many were actually present when the actual building for the party took place.
In July-August people enjoyed the hot summer in Karhusaari as there was a small forest party. The music in Karhusaari was mainly funkadelic psy: Suomisaundi.
As the summer drew to a close an open air DJ session was organised with Hytky at the Eternal Fire memorial in Helsinki.
In September Vuosaari forest shaked as the almost annual Kasvihuoneilmiö forest party took place. As in 2005, there was a warming up tent, and a bon fire. The decorations included a mushroom cultivation and weird clippers used to dry clothes. The lighting was especially good as a separate aggregate was used solely for this purpose. OUBS even made a highflying reportage of this party.
The year 2007 started with a bang in February when three events were organised within a week: Valentine’s Day “Levyläjä” in Bar Beatroot on Iso-Roba, the traditional open air Sunnuntailaskut event in Alppipuisto, and Luolamies:2303 room at Gravitaatio, starring Milla Lehto.
Year 2008 was Entropy’s fifteenth year which was celebrated under the topic “Techno Belongs To Everybody”. Entropy organized various events, from the Night of the Arts picnic by the sea to the forest party Kesäsiirtola and to Yönäytös (“Night Screening”) which was held in an old movie theatre in Tapiola. Celebration year’s climax was the E15V party in the beginning of November, which featured a domestic lineup with artists such as Mr Velcro Fastener, Jori Hulkkonen and Samuli Kemppi.
Year 2009 was started by making a budget that raised the amount of money available for the activities of the organisation and equipment purchases. During that year a lot of new equipment was purchased. There were also a lot of events — in total 21 events. Only in July Entropy didn’t organise any events and that was because of a planned event in Cafe Aaltopelti was cancelled due to bad weather. During the year there were two big events, in which the number of guests exceeded 350, and a lot of smaller events with 100-200 attendees. We also brought three large foreign artists to Finland, the most famous was Black Sun Empire brought to Laskeuma (“Fallout”) and a big name for psytrance listeners, Kindzadza. Boxcutter performing in the 16th anniversary party completed the year’s list of foreign artists.
Year 2010 started by drafting of the budget, the mapping of Entropy’s equipment and a large sound system acquisition planning. We decided to try and apply money from TTER for a new sound system, for which Ilkka Huhtakallio already had a plan ready, as well as new lighting equipment, which Mikko Törrönen and Tobias Malmström had a vision of. We also decided to apply for additional assistance from AYY for club room renovations and a new sofa. TTER did not accept our application for the sound system, so we had to eventually cut the budget considerably. However AYY did grant us money and the remodeling and renovation was carried out in late summer and the new sofa was bought in early winter.
Spring was marked by an exceptional series of club nights as Entropy organised three EH6 parties at the Kuudes linja club in Kallio in collaboration with HYTKY. The EH6 club nights were a moderate success: the first two nights brought in full houses but the last event suffered from a loss of guests as the venue had lost its extended licenses just prior to the club night and had to close already at 2 a.m. Some members complained about the club nights since because of them there was no larger own party during Spring.
Later in the year we organized a party with an experimental theme: jazz, techno and ambient, emphasizing “non-danceable” music. The concept was a success and mixing a live band, which was a new area for Entropy, caused no problems. The party, Entropy Kardemumman yössä, had around 200 visitors.
All in all, during the year we brought to Finland four guests DJs from abroad: Deepmix favorite Pushkarev, Coyu, Bodycode, and Jeff Milligan who operated three vinyl players.