A chat with Amnesia Scanner

Interview by Sydney van Nieuwaal
Photos courtesy of Amnesia Scanner

Electronic music duo Amnesia Scanner consists of Ville Haimala and Martti Kalliala. Both having backgrounds in architecture and design, they forge entire sonic and visual worlds. They defy and crumble those simultaneously. Bursting through its self-created understructure, AS irons out music that’s branded with their own sound. By being wearing their influences on their sleeves, yet turning all possible knobs to the max level, Haimala and Kalliala throw the listener in a hazardous rabbit hole that’s explosive, (over)stimulating and yet extremely fun. We caught up with the duo and spoke about collapse.

For our Collectibles series, Amnesia Scanner created an anarchic poster, blending the artwork from their latest record, Tearless. A beautiful and industrial-tinged eruption. All Subbacultcha members get the poster for free, delivered right to their doorsteps. Not a member yet and want to upgrade your walls? Sign up here.

Take a look at all Subbacultcha Collectibles here, featuring other contribution by the likes Kate NV, Loke Rahbek, David Numwami, Fenna Fiction and many more.

Before we start, how’s Oracle doing?

Furloughed : (

Ah :(. Could you tell us something more about the poster you designed for Subbacultcha Collectibles? 

It’s an assembly of the characters and the world created by our long term collaborators PWR for Tearless.

Your latest full-length album, Tearless, is baptized as ‘a breakup album with the planet’. To stretch the metaphor a little further, I would like to ask: who broke up with who? 

Depends on one’s perspective, but it’s clear we’re not leaving for another planet.

Was the relationship toxic? 


Tearless is “a sonic reflection of how it feels to experience Earth at a time when collapse is emerging as the prevailing narrative”. In what way was that narrative dominant by the time of writing and recording the record (pre-COVID), and how does it differ from now? 

We (like probably most people) of course felt that we’re reaching an end of a cycle already before COVID. So many separate threads were reaching their inflection point. But still, it has felt very surreal to have all these events unfold around the time of the release. 

The music as well as the imagery of the record contains a barrage of expression. There’s plenty of colour, passion and undeniable energy. Also, there are a lot smiles. At times the record almost feel cathartic or celebratory. It’s everything but grey, numb and toned down. What bliss is there to be found in doom? 

It’s definitely not a celebration of the collapse, but these sort of events can also ignite a more uncontrolled tornado of emotions, what can feel like bliss can be also conceived as denial. Songs like “AS Going (feat. LYZZA)” deal with this, but also serve as a kind of a mantra that helps you to keep pushing through.

If we follow the prospect, and (full) collapse has done its job; how fertile are those grounds for new development and organization? 

Who knows. Collapse can be sudden, or slow and unevenly distributed. But any fantasies about a fresh start or tabula rasa are certainly not worth letting collapse run its course.

The maximalist and crowdedness of the record, both visually and sonically, creates chaos and moments of clash. This friction creates sparks, or rather shoots cracks in the fundament. What is there to be found in these cracks? 

Currently it feels like more chaos, unfortunately. But what one would hope for is some long lasting reset for a fair and sustainable society.