Here it is: Finland lacks an internationally known music scene compared to, say, Sweden which has produced hit phenomena ever since the days of ABBA.
A specific genre is something of an exception: Finland is estimated to have more metal bands per capita than any other country. Some of these bands are wildly successful within their genre.
So, it seems only natural that, in the age of Youtube, a Finnish Metal band would pay homage to something as rare as a Finnish international pop hit. This is exactly what Power Metal group Battledragon has done.
In their latest addition to a growing collection of tongue in cheek metal cover videos, Battledragon has not only covered the Bomfunk MC’s 1999 smash hit Freestyler, but redone it in a fabulous DIY style that rivals the over-saturated production values of the non-HD original.
While we applaud Battledragon for their many fine covers on Youtube, it would seem remote control technology has regressed badly from the forgotten main character of the Freestyler video. We’re of course talking about the sleek, remote controllers that came with Sony’s better Walkman portable music players.
Maybe we can blame Nokia for this? Anyway, all the more reason to party like it’s 1999.
GIF-Powered Video Rewind
Have you forgotten the original video for Bomfunk MC’s drum ‘n’ bass inspired hiphop hit? Let us refresh your memory.
In the video, a dizzy-looking youngster gets dragged into a magical adventure from the Hakaniemi metro station in Helsinki, near the cool Kallio district. Maybe the shouting weirdo casts a spell on him?
Our homeboy gets to play god with the remote of his Sony Minidisk Walkman, in a relatively benign if somewhat objectifying manner. Homeboy can make random passers-by shake their booty and breakdance, to use the parlance of our time.
Whatever, the magic Sony wand can’t be bad, if it gets Finnish people dancing in public. Am I right?
The spell of Millennial nostalgia and MTV airtime
Needless to say, Freestyler’s video nostalgia gold for Finnish millenials, many of which remember exceptions like Freestyler and Darude’s Sandstorm as exceptions to the basic rule of “no Finnish music on MTV”. This of course seemed as etched in stone as the laws of thermodynamics, back in the heyday of Nokia mobile phones.
Depending on your taste, Freestyler’s unmissable emphasis on the Helsinki Metro’s cheerful orange coloring either neutralizes or boosts the less than timeless late 90’s fashion in the video.
Is it all a stoner daydream?
But let’s move on. Further defying our world’s laws of physics and the continuity of Helsinki’s cityscape, the dude in the Freestyler video exits the metro from a random staircase in Merihaka, a modernist high-rise neighborhood close to Merihaka.
Here at the Merihaka School of Minidisc Magic, the main character is defeated in a battle of supernatural remote control powers. This seems to happen at a shady Bomfunk MC’s gig in some garage or whatever. A more scientific explanation for the character’s defeat is the potential breakage of the wire for the remote.
Needless to say, this is why we need wireless headphones.
At the end of the video, homeboy gets rewinded back to the Hakaniemi Metro station. There he finds himself on the bench he started from, looking hella stoned, to put it mildly.
Maybe he’s on the same allergy meds used by the girl in those Mac switcher stoner girl Apple ads from a couple of years later?
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Is it just me or was Freestyler sort of a guilty pleasure? It was for me at least until I started looking up drum covers of the song on Youtube. Pretty fun stuff going on there if you’re into playing crazy electronic music on real drums. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I7eC6VRPjvk
This fun pop take on drum’n’bass makes me think of another cool song, Santigold’s 2012 hit Disparate Youth. Also quite an adventurous beat to try on a drum kit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYH6TavC1EU
LOL!! Love how he took Ruoholahti train and went from Hakaniemi to Rautatientori
I can see why you’d cover it but you’ll never beat the original. That was a classic!!
Why mess with perfection?! That song never gets old. Brilliant, brilliant tune!!
His vocals gave me cancer. You’d better listen to this one: http://darkbeer.wrzuta.pl/audio/5B1CzLfOFhh/lebenssteuer_-_freestyler