Christmas album 2015

Since 2006 I have tried to record a Christmas song every year, mostly with the help of my friends. This hasn’t always been successful but this year me and Helene Urva, who has written many of said songs, decided that we should put them all together in an album – “Lumele siniseid varje.”

All the songs were re-mixed and parts of them were re-recorded. The original feel of the songs was however kept intact. They are still pretty lo-fi and recorded and mixed at home. We also wrote a new song for this year: “Hingede aeg.”

Overall we collected 10 songs, that we have written and recorded over the years:

1. Ivo Krustok ja Kristiina Herkül – Laul sinule detsembris (Krustok/Üdi) – 2006
2. Ivo Krustok ja Helene Urva – Jõulurahu (Urva/Krustok) – 2008
3. Ivo Krustok ja Kristiina Herkül – Kummelitee (Krustok/Urva) – 2009
4. Ivo Krustok ja Helene Urva – Pilet (Urva/Krustok/Haav) – 2010
5. Ivo Krustok ja Helene Urva – Talveuni kalmistul (Urva/Krustok/Haav) – 2011
6. Ivo Krustok – Detsembriöö (Krustok) – 2011
7. Ivo Krustok ja Helene Urva – Tuisk (Urva/Krustok) – 2011
8. Ivo Krustok ja Eva Mustonen – Vihmase jõulu valss (Mustonen/Krustok/Haav) – 2013
9. Ivo Krustok ja Helene Urva – Hingede aeg (Urva/Krustok) – 2015
10. Ivo Krustok ja Helene Urva – Jõulurahu live – 2011

In addition to me and Helene, several of my friends have helped make this record possible. The full list of contributors is here:

Ivo Krustok – guitar, vocals (1-4; 8: 10), keys (8), bass (3; 9)
Helene Urva – lyrics (2-5; 7; 9-10), vocals (2; 4-5; 7; 9-10), keys (2; 4-5; 9), tin whistle (2)
Indrek Haav – bass (1; 4-5; 8)
Kristiina Herkül – vocals (1; 3)
Eva Mustonen – lyrics, melody and vocals (8)
Jüri Üdi – lyrics (1)

Eva Krustok, SilkWithTea – cover design

I am incredibly thankful to all of them for their help and to all of my friends who have supported over the years. A special thanks goes to Evelin, who lent me her bass guitar this year. I hope you have time to listen to this album and wish you all the best for your holidays.

You can listen to the album, and download it from:

My Mind

I’m a little behind with recording new Reason tutorials. I made one a few days ago but eventually scrapped it, as it turned out to be a bit boring. Back to the drawing board, I suppose. I have, however, been busy working on a new song and this one is a bit different.

It all started some time ago when I got a bit obsessed with a new hip-hop record from Estonian artists Genka and Paul Oja, While listening to the record, I was google’ing around and found a video of Genka talking about hip-hop culture in general.  The rabbit hole got deeper when I noticed the name Aesop Rock on one of his slides. “The rapper with the most complex, abstract and verbose lyrics, eh?” I thought… “Well, let’s just have a listen…” It turns out, his records are amazing. I got hooked and even ordered “Labor days” on vinyl – my first and hopefully not last hip-hop vinyl.

Now, this is not the first time I have been excited about rap music. I used to listen to a lot of Eminem as a teenager and I’ve always loved the Beastie Boys.  And while I didn’t like Genka’s records all that much before, Chalice (also a hip-hop artist) has been one of my favorite Estonian artists from his second album. These obsessions have however, never lead to much creative work – I have never made a hip-hop track myself. This time, it was different though and after finding a background I had recorded a while ago, I figured it was perfect for some rapping and I should give it a shot. The first 10 takes were horrible but in the end I was quite happy with the song. Give a listen yourself:

I owe a great thanks to Helene Urva, who wrote and recorded the vocal parts heard in the background. I want to also thank my friend Nima, who got me the amazing Setar (the instrument I play in this song) from Iran. 

If you want to download the track or you really hate the video, head over to Soundcloud or Bandcamp for an audio only version.

Dust of this Planet

Good news, everyone! I have completed a new song and gotten the video up on youtube. The song was actually completed some time ago, and was available on soundcloud and bandcamp but now you can also enjoy it on youtube. I also remastered it in between so it sounds better than before! It is inspired by a book by Eugene Thacker called “In the Dust of this Planet”. I happened to come across it while listening to radiolab – an awesome podcast you too should be listening to! It is not directly related to the main part of the book but I loved many of the ideas presented there, so I wrote the song.

I hope that I will be able to post much more music, tutorials etc in the near future. The last year has been crazy as I have been very busy with my PhD and an educational project in Estonia. The good news is that the hard work is finally giving results. I have published my first scientific paper, with more to follow (hopefully soon), I will defend my Licentiate degree in April (which is a Swedish thing but you can think about it as a step in PhD) and the Estonian project is almost done. So I plan on writing and recording more music 🙂

Rainy Christmas

Hello dear readers, friends and family!

I have always loved Christmas. I find that it is a perfect time to look into oneself, think about the past year and what lies ahead. The shortest days of the year always signify the birth of the new for me – like a true pagan 🙂

For several years now (since 2006), I have gotten together with my talented friends and recorded a Christmas song. Every year it has been about feelings past, hopes for the future, memories, friends and this year is no different. This years song is written by Eva Mustonen and describes the prevalent feelings this Christmas. It is dark and wet and warm – nothing like Nordic people are used to. However, we still know how to decorate our homes and hearts to get into the Christmas spirit and feel warm.

Lyrics, melody and vocals by Eva Mustonen
Bass guitar Indrek Haav
Guitar, keyboards and production Ivo Krustok

Recorded December 2013 in Västerås, Sweden and Tartu, Estonia. Many thanks to Y-Galerii for letting us record there and to Eva Krustok for filming.

The youtube video for the song is below and if you want to download it you can get it at my bandcamp or soundcloud.

Happy holidays!

Wrong In Our Heads

So yeah… I promised two more videos in November and I barely got the one made. I present to you a song I wrote some time in the Spring of 2013. At the time I had trouble with anxiety and I wrote it down with an addition of some artistic freedom. I had an old guitar riff which suited nicely and so the song was born. The second video, where I discuss mental health on its own will be coming in the next few days. November was more than I had bargained for and I was quite busy because of it. For now, enjoy the song:

In related news, I have updated all my music sites online to have a matching style. In addition to Youtube, where you can see all my nice videos, I have made my songs available for streaming and downloading.

First of all there is the old and fallen giant MySpace. They dont offer much but the design is nice:

Secondly we have BandCamp. I really love this platform and advise all musicians to consider publishing their music there. In addition to free streaming and downloading you can select whichever amount of money for supporting my music while downloading:

Finally we have Soundcloud. This platform is quite nice as well and I like having my tracks available there: