Stupido Records


As the 1980s lurched to an end and the 1990s were about to start, the world was a very different place from the one we know today. Tiny little Finland crouched next to the immensity of the Soviet Union and Soviet Estonia was a tiny corner of this huge empire.

Despite what some people think, the people pf Soviet Estonia did not live in a barrel, cut off from the rest of the world. They followed the newest trends in pop music. They had their ears glued to the speaker grill, drinking in the sounds spun by British dj John Peel.

This is the fecund soil that gave birth to Röövel Ööbik in 1987.

This band formed by vocalist Tönu Pedar, guitarist Allan Hmelnitski, bassist Tarvo Varres and drummer Raul Saaremets became Estonia’s leading indie band.

In 1989, the quartet signed with fledgling Finish label Stupido Records and got to play at the 1990 New Music Seminar in New York before releasing its first album.

The album Popsubterranea being now re-released was recorded in Helsinki and Tallinn with producer Ari Vaahtera, who is now deceased, and released in 1992.

The climax of the band’s career came in 1993 when, after all those years spent with an ear to the radio, the guys got to record a legendary Peel Session in London.

The four tracks recorded in London are finally being released as bonus tracks on this cd.

Eventually, Röövel Ööbik took a break. Some of the guys continued to make music with a band called Una Bomba. Röövel Ööbik reactivated in 2004 and released its second album, Supersymmetry, on Umblu, a label started by drummer Saaremets.

Instead of Varres, bass was played by Sten Sheripov from the legendary Estonian punk icons J.M.K.E.
Naturally, Stupido Records handled Scandinavian distribution.

Here are some Röövel Ööbik clippings from the 90s:

Popsubterranea is clearly a product of the 90s. It mirrors 60s psychedelia and the modern rock of the 80s.”
- Soundi (A Finnish monthly music magazine)

” The music floats into the aether, mostly. With repeated listening, it reveals itself to be exciting and multifaceted.”
- Rumba (biweekly Finnish music paper)

In other words, it was a classic indie album in its time and came from a surprising corner of the globe.



Umblu now out through Stupido (11.08.2005)