Kuva/ Photo: Ville Vainio
Anssi Nykänen (b. 1965) may be the most employed drummer in Finland, but also an extremely stylish, all around rhythm machine and respected and liked collegue, a real musician so to say. The repertory of Nykänen streches from pop, rock and rhythm & blues to more improvised rhythm music, funk and beatjazz.
In the late-1980's Nykänen played with the H.A.R.P. band of Pepe Ahlqvist and for some time also with Instinct, a group formed by guitarist Ilkka Niemeläinen. In the beginning of the next decade the drummer was also employed by keyboardist Jussi Liski's Lentävä Siemen quartet and since 1992 the band of the famous bass player Pekka Pohjola, which was Nykänen's real access to the hearts of the Finnish jazz audience.
Though the group of Pekka Pohjola kept the drummer busy both in Finland and abroad, Nykänen had time to lead his own fusion-jazz band called Anssi Nykänen Loop Treatment as well. The group did a tour in Finland in 1995, organized by Jazz Federation and guitarist Seppo Tyni used the band on his own solo albums.
During the 21st century Anssi Nykänen and bass player Harri Rantanen have formed a famous rhythm duo whose seamless liaison carries for example Eero Koivistoinen's funk album Helium. In guitarist Tomi "Varre" Vartiainen's Husband group Nykänen and Rantanen have both played for a long time, also on both albums of the trio. On Homo Sapiens album, that was released in 2006, Marzi Nyman played the second guitar; his trio's rhythm section have since then been taken care of Nykänen and Rantanen as well. This long-lasting duo is known widely and as a sign of the appreciation of the field Nykänen was awarded as the Musician of the Year by the Musicians' Union of Finland already in 1995.