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By Sari Väyrynen. Translated by Richard Foley. Photo by Arto Liiti.

It’s Friday night and the music playing in Café Kauppayhtiö fits the venue’s retro spirit. Memories from the golden ’50 and ’60s are being brought to you by a local, DJ Tundra.

“I went in big for collecting LPs before I turned 10, when my older sibling were listening to the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, the Grateful Dead, Joni Mitchell, and Neil Young. My collection has more than five thousand original vinyl LPs and 45s that centre on music from the 1950s to the early 1970s, but include artists right up until the present”, DJ says.

DJ Tundra’s interest in playing records began when he had his own radio show Eep Hour on student radio at the University of Vermont. Today he does about a gig a month in Rovaniemi, hosts a show of his own on Radio Säteily every spring at the University of Lapland, and uses the handle DJTundrazone for blip.fm online.


The DJ’s name could not be more fitting. By day he is Bruce Forbes, American tundra ecologist and Research Professor of Global Change at the University’s Arctic Centre. He has traversed the Arctic tundra for some twenty-five years, mainly in Russia.

The multidisciplinary collaborative efforts he has been involved in have broached subjects such as changes in vegetation and permafrost and the ability of the reindeer-­herding nomadic Nenets on the Yamal Peninsula to adjust to climate change and the massive oil and gas industry presence in the region. The research on the Nenets was published in December 2009 as the feature article in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.