With such acts as Carbon Based, Re-form and Pain on Creation, Alek Szahala represents the first wave of Finrg. During his music production career, he has toured on four continents and left behind over 50 freeform releases. Alek has played live PAs in numerous well-acknowledged Finnish and international electronic music events, such as Koneisto, Konemetsä, Kosmos, Säde, Fury, Rush, Labyrinth/Laserpoint, Altparty, Monday Bar [SWE], Sinistry [UK], Logic [UK], Mayhem [AUS], Godspeed [AUS], Utopia [AUS] and Pharmacy [AUS] on the same stages with several respected hard dance and hardcore DJs and acts, including Proteus, Carbon Based, Lab-4, Kevin Energy, Rikki Arkitect, Gammer, Ephexis, Chris Liberator, Scott Brown, Lisa Lashes and Angerfist.
Alek Szahala entered the Finnish freeform scene in 2003 after a decade of writing tracker music as a part of various Finnish and Nordic music crews. Some of his first vinyl releases, ”Man Eaten” (Finrg), ”Caballo” (Camel Records) and ”Tlaloc” (Electronica), which all featured recognizable characteristics of Alek’s early signature sound, quickly gained him some recognition also in the international scene. By the end of 2004 Alek had already performed live PAs in well-established Finnish hard dance events, such as Säde and Rush, and made his debut performance in the UK. He had also released eight tracks on vinyl and made his first and only full length album, Xochitlán, which was distributed as a digital copy and as a limited 400 piece order-by-mail CD on his website.
In 2005 Alek’s tracks such as “Darkstar” (Electronica), which had been featured as an epitome of Freeform in Ishkur’s Guide to Electronic music at DI.FM, “Lumi” (Nu Energy), “Unholy Word” (Finrg), “Dryad Machine” (Finrg) and “Maruuk” (Finrg) reached the hard dance and rave communities all over the world with over 100,000 plays on Myspace, ultimately peaking ca. 250,000 plays by 2008. Alek’s music was particularly well received in Australia, where he did his first overseas tour in June-July 2005. He performed at clubs in Melbourne and Adelaide, a hardcore hall party “Godspeed” at the (now demolished) Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, and headlined the Mayhem Electronic Music Festival in Brisbane at RNA Showgrounds.
The tracks released between 2005 and 2012, including “Iron Squid” (Crush on), “Supriya” (Finrg), “Maruuk” (Finrg), “Alanamra” (Nu Energy) and “Deimos” (Finrg) developed Alek’s signature sound further and shifted its focus from ultra-high BPM counts to slightly slower goa and trance-inspired melodies and darker distorted soundscapes. This change partly emerged from the release of Propellerhead’s Reason 3 and 4, which opened more creative possibilities for sound design compared to Reason 2.
As of now, Alek Szahala has one of the longer track records in terms of physical releases and live performances among Finnish hard dance artists in the past two decades. In addition to performing in a variety of Finnish events, Alek continued performing international live PAs annually until 2016, including several tours in Australia and Canada, and individual club gigs in the UK, Russia and Japan. Since 2016, Alek Szahala has been less active on the freeform side, but is still releasing music, although more often under his side-project ”Paokala”. Some of Alek’s latest releases include ”Fuji” (Finrg 2018), ”Lab-4 Christmashup” (Finrg 2020), ”Paokala: Distant Worlds” (SceneSat 2018) and ”Paokala: Ten-thousand Homeworlds” (SceneSat 2021).