Carbon Bands:

Ada le O
Ails al'on
Andy Gilmore
Autumn in Halifax and the Leaves
Bruise Halo
Chad Oliveiri
Crush the Junta
Deciduous vs Conifer (aka AC vs DC)
Entente Cordiale
John Charlton
Jungle Heart
Kelli Shay Hicks
SHED (aka Jungle Heart)
Transcendental Manship Highway



Birth: October 30, 1993
Members: Alex Schmidt, Nuuj, Joe Tunis



hilkka was a three-piece (indie) rock band formed in 1993 when alex, nuuj and joe moved in together. early influences included the melvins, unwound, big black and slug. over the years, the three guys "learned" to actually play their instruments and their sound evolved, as did their influences. recent comparisions have not been made. recent comparisons are no longer recent. this is already old... Hilkka disbanded in Oct of 2006, 13 years and 1 day from the exact date of their first show.

Releases (10):

Past Shows (12):


      Related Reviews (6):

      Upstate Soundscape
      RELEASE: I wish my wife was this dirty
      Rochester sons Nuuj and Joe Tunis are pretty busy guys. They can be spotted on the roster of numerous projects, many of which are backed by Tunis’s Carbon Records. While some of those former projects include Pango, Crush the Junta, and the deteriorated Hilkka, I’m glad they’ve come together as Tuurd, a name both infantile, idosyncratic, and awesome. For such a simple and straightforward sound on their debut EP I Wish My Wife Was This Dirty, Tuurd keeps me focused. Following suit in the vein of stoner metal/sludge metal/prog rock, Tuurd has found a sound that fits in between all these genres.

      The first track “Water” starts off with a climbing riff and a constant drum thud, taking us on a journey down a dark and weary moat. As the song progresses, the bass maintains a slow and sturdy progression. About halfway through, a voice that sounds like an orc from Middle Earth growls “I’ll show you some power, to get you some water.” In fact, Sauron would enjoy rocking out to Tuurd in his chamber on Mt. Doom. Combined with the simple melody and captivating concept, this is a strong first track.

      Not all the songs are as hypnotic as “Water.” If you are looking for something more upbeat, “Reeses Feeses” fits the bill. As the second track, this song accomplishes hooking the listener by opening with straddling chords (if The Black Keys got dirty, they’d create something similar), and rare pauses, leaving time to think. It’s not for long until Tuurd propels back into the ruckus for a roll in the mud. Throughout the album the lyrics and vocals are scarce, but when they come in its satisfying. Tuurd has a unique falsetto that I haven’t heard before within metal, almost satirical, but just enough.

      There’s a meditative quality to stoner metal that I’ve come to appreciate over the years. The grit, sweat, and pacing remind me of great warriors barging their way through knotty forests. It’s not in your face crazy or senseless strumming. Especially a band like Tuurd, which has an interactive quality and each song seems to emphasize rhythm and drive as with “Eating Ice Cream with Satan,” which is focused on the back and forth play between guitar and drums. It pushes and pulls until the lyrics brag about eating ice cream with Satan in hell. Not going to lie, I’m pretty jealous. Similar to “Eating Ice Cream with Satan” is the album’s eponymous track, “I Wish My Wife Was This Dirty”. It opens with curly cueing dizzying guitar, paired with an intense drumbeat that begs for a breather.The drums continue to chant, until the sound stretches and grows.

      A lot of this album is focused on exploring a certain riff, repeating it, then building upon that solid noise and contrasting it with excellent drums and humorous vocals. Tuurd’s biggest quality is keeping it together, seen in the gritty distortion of “Sliding Down” and the massive collisions in “Doot do doot.” Overall, I’m impressed with Tuurd’s hilarious concept and physical skill. Honestly, I wish my wife was this dirty, too.

      Crucial Blast
      RELEASE: the disappeared
      The Rochester, NY free-sludge trio Crush The Junta first came to my attention last year with their crusher of a debut, the Curse Of Abraham CDR on Carbon. Featuring members of Entente Cordiale, Blood And Bone Orchestra, SQ, Pengo, and Hilkka and taking huge open chord riffs and syrupy, slow moving tempos and using them as the foundation for extended improvised jams that are filled with heavily textured feedback and amplifier noise, Crush The Junta's sound fell somewhere in between the Grey Daturas and Gravitar at their most psychedelic and the austere slowcore of Codeine. Massive and expansive, the trio uses synthesizer and electronic drones along with their core drums/guitar/bass lineup, their music is almost entirely instrumental (save for the occasional howl of ecstasy rising up above the dirge), and their first 'real' CD release The Disappeared further expands upon their trippy metallic jamming. "The Mist Rolls In" opens the album with a series of thu nderous, distorted open chords and saw toothed drone, somewhat Western in feel, almost like a rougher version of the newer Earth stuff crossed with Codeine's Barely Real. But the following track "Skull Against Stone" shifts the album into the abstract, a loop of guitar noise spinning off above guitar noise and buzzing cables and an quasi-krautrock beat until it starts to sound like a riff from the The Who stuck on repeat. "Steps Of The Temple" is one of the only tracks to feature any sort of vocal accompaniment, a few lines of spoken word poetry delivered over slow, sludgy dirge riffing. The rest of the album explores similiar territory, huge blown out psych-sludge jams, thick amplifier drones, pretty indie rock tunes played at glacial tempo, all of it surrounded by a vague sense of political unrest and dystopia. Check 'em out if you're a fan of high energy, distortion laden improv/psych/dirge rock like Heavy Winged, Alasehir, and Grey Daturas. Packaged in a cardsto ck jacket that comes in a heavy plastic mylar sleeve.

      RELEASE: Faster
      I picked this CD/DVD set up the day it was released at a show last year in Rochester NY, just played it again for the first time in months. Forgot how sweet this stuff is... Sheet is one of the most intense harsh noise acts in the Eastern US. He has a joy for sound that brings freshness to every one of his projects, including Sheet, Pengo, Asthmatic, Hilkka, and his work with Arthur Doyle. If there are still copies of this out there, I recommend every harsh head pick one up. - burlapwax

      Foxy Digitalis
      RELEASE: i don't think the dirt belongs to the grass
      With his Carbon Records imprint, Joe Tunis has been exploring the underground music scene of upstate New York and its environs for over 12 years. Throughout its existence, Carbon has released adventurous music on formats both traditional and obscure – Tunis’ own Joe+N project has released music on entire computer hard drives mounted on unique works of art; various series explore DVD-R and MP3 technology as well as the use of recycled materials in handmade packaging. Tunis has played day-tours, in which Joe+N performs at multiple venues around Rochester in a single day; his band Pengo has recorded an alternate soundtrack to the first 31 minutes of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s epic film, The Holy Mountain. It seems that Joe Tunis has both an immense love for art and music, and that he is constantly searching for ways to push the boundaries of performance and production.

      Taking over a year to compile, assemble and produce, this three-disc compilation collects tracks chosen by Tunis from a large handful of the many musicians he has worked with during his dozen years running Carbon. The packaging is exquisite – the CDs are housed in a DVD-sized case with beautiful full-colour artwork, which is then sheathed in a natural cotton bag that is ink-stamped with a minimalist logo. The dirt/grass motif is explored thoroughly on both the insert artwork and the artwork that adorns the CDs. Each successive disc explores a geographic region of increasing size: disc 1 represents Tunis’ hometown of Rochester, and features at least three of his musical endeavours (Joe+N, Pengo, Hilkka); disc 2 reaches out across the United States, while disc 3 explores the entire globe. There is no easy visual cue to distinguish among the three discs, which according to Tunis is to demonstrate “the differences and similarities between artists next door and half-way around the world.”

      The styles of music represented on this mammoth release range from quiet ambience to full-on noise freakouts, from dazzling guitar explorations to computer-based sonic mayhem. Many of the artists’ names will be recognizable (The North Sea, The Davenport Family, Carlos Giffoni, Keith Fullerton Whitman, Dead Machines, Thurston Moore, Antony Milton, Pumice, Neil Campbell, Taurpis Tula), while others should be (the entirety of disc 1, for example). To say that this compilation is highly recommended is an understatement – if you’re reading this right now, you should already own it. If you don’t, what are you waiting for??? - Bryon Hayes

      RELEASE: the nature of systems
      In addition to drumming with Terrastock 1 performers, Hilkka, Joe Tunis also runs the Rochester, NY-based Carbon Records label and loops tapes and other exotic electrical and "found" instruments as leader of the algebraic equation, Joe+N (where n= his number of collaborators.) Talk about wearing your math rock credentials on your (CD) sleeve! For Carbon's 25th release, Joe has solicited contributions from several T'stock cohorts (and their various side projects) and Carbon label stalwarts and offers up this (mostly) successful experiment in the exploration of sonic textures. The Arthur Doyle Electro-Acoustic Ensemble break out their toy penny whistles on "Flue Song," while Andy Gilmore's "She's Settin' HerAssin A Bathtub" gathers conch shells and warped Carribean-styled kettle drums (bathtubs?) and sets his assdown in a cone of silence. The dichotomy between sea and sky (or water and air, to be more precise) is simulataneously unsettling and fascinating. Tom and Christina Carter will be making a rare live performance at Terrastock 4 in Seattle in November and "Mansfield Dam," recorded a mere six months ago is a tasty teaser of what fans may expect from this husband and wife duo who record under the enigmatic name Charalambides. Plucked guitar strings, recorded forwards, backwards and across all points in between are layered upon Christina's ethereal chanting, where notes and tones (not exactly "singing," per se) combine to form an angelic choir under the direction of ersatz Cocteau Twin, Liz Fraser. Christina may chastise me for making said comparison, but it is actually meant as a compliment. No amount of compliments, however, can save Finkbeiner's super distorted, melodic chaos, "Yes, It Can" from the obvious rejoinder. This sci-fi guitar extravaganza seems to be directed towards answering the musical question, "Can your guitar do this?" My response, "Perhaps; but maybe it just doesn't want to." Staten Island's Golden Calves Eskimo Lime Band is represented with the mercifully short noise experiment, "Hostel Song." The Flying Luttenbachers' "Maximum Cruelty" lives up to its name as Einsturzende Neubauten meets Faust on the dissecting table under the musical direction of Coltrane in the throes of withdrawal. Painful stuff. Burlap drop by with the sound of a cassette tape fast forwarding over a Cure-like single bass note ("Coming Home"), while T'stock vets, Pelt present a Dream Syndicate drone accompanied by Amy Shea's Conradian violin touches. "The Dream of Leaping Sharks" even sounds like a title that escaped from the clutches of Young and co. and is the highlight of the first half of the disk. Host Joe Tunis steps outside the skronk and squalor of Hilkka for some electro-astral projections which catalog certain "Types of Interference" and T'stock fave Loren MazzaCane Connors does the same with his guitar in "I've Had Trouble, I've Had Joy," a piece so quiet and meditative it lives up to the adage: I will strike no string before its time. The six string equivalent of a Low vocal. Nod break out all their Neil Young wah-wah distortion pedals and harps for a good ol' fashioned backporch, backwoods toe tapper, "John Henry vs. The Smog Monster." Can you say "Soo-eeee?!" Paging Mr. N(o)d Beaty! We began with the carny-like strains of Arthur Doyle and we now present the carnival from hell strains of Mick Turner's "Carny's Dance." It'll scare the kids (and weak stomached adults) sh*tless! Hilkka's Rich Nuuja tortures his guitar in his side project, Sheet and "Quick Stomach" will empty even the staunchest NiN fans' and is strictly for Japanese noise afficianados. Carbon Record's SQ pours Borbetomagus into the Lhasa Cement mixer and the resulting block of musique concrete should have Neubauten and Faust fans quaking in their kneehigh goose- stompers, while Bardo Pond continue to expand the gap between the quality of what they're capable of delivering (Amanita) and what they're actually releasing as the two notes and a prayer "Vagabond" goes nowhere in a hurry. Side Projects 'R' Us continues as The (other) Dream Syndicate's Karl Precoda and Pelt's Mike Gangloff meet in a "Metal Shop," fire up the blade sharpener (which often morphs into a police siren and is actually – I'm guessing – Karl's guitar) and layer the whole shebang on top of Mike's extended drone (also, presumably, his guitar) and in the process forge a whole new entity I've christened Inside the Dream Syndicate, aka IDS. It sure beats the s**t out of Table of the Element's recent snippet of the (other) Dream Syndicate (aka EGO)'s work in (and out of) progress. Tunis and Finkbeiner (assisted by John Schoen on percussion) return under the guise of Pengo, whose "New Loft Elevation 2001" again begs the industrial comparisons with Neubauten although, instead of "collapsing new buildings," this approximates erecting them. At the beginning of this review I referred to the sonic/texture exploration that can be found within these grooves (bits and bytes, actually.) Tunis has assembled a fine collection of pieces that, while occasionally derivative of areas that the past masters have delved into, offers a 21st century take on how music FEELS, as opposed to how it SOUNDS. To experience these pieces is to be enveloped within the machinery – the hardware – of the musical voices of their creators and not the typical heart (or software) that one usually expects from a composition. This is music of the body, not the mind. Don't spend too much time thinking about it (I've just done that for you), get out there and feel it. This, then, is the "nature of systems:" they act upon each other to "push society forward" as Joe says in his liners. Action, not necessarily thought (or discussion which, if you think about it, is actually IN-action or stasis) is the key.

      Volcanic Tongue
      RELEASE: i don't think the dirt belongs to the grass
      Massive, genre-defining 3xCD set packaged in a DVD case with full-colour artwork and full colour card stock insert housed in a natural-colour cotton bag with single-colour ink stamp art/logo and featuring exclusive tracks from a gob-stopping selection of underground players orbiting the Carbon universe. Limited to 500 copies. Tracks from: Aaron Rosenblum, Andy Gilmore, Anla Courtis, Antony Milton, Asthmatic, Autumn In Halifax, Blood and Bone Orchestra, Blood Stereo, Carlos Giffoni, Carpentry, Caustic Solution, Chad Oliveiri, Chris Reeg, Cock ESP, Coffee, Craig Colorusso, Crawlspace, Crush The Junta, The Davenport Family, Dead Machines, Entente Cordiale, Foot and Mouth Disease, G55, Gastric Female Reflex, Heathen Prayers, Hilkka, Hinkley, Howard Stelzer, Irene Moon, Joe+N, John Charlton, Justice Yeldman, Keith Fullerton Whitman, Lunt, Mike Shiflet, Nancy Garcia, Neil Campbell, Pengo, Phroq, Pumice, Rainbeaux, Sindre Bjerga, Sindre Bjerga/Jan-M Iversen, Sq, Taiwan Deth, Taurpis Tula, The Body, The North Sea, Thurston Moore and Tinnitustimulus. Highly recommended.