I-LP-ON | ÄÄNET
Editions Mego (LP/DL)
Rhythmic, minimal and austere, this I-LP-ON is a fitting tribute to the memory of the late Mika Vainio by his Pan Sonic partner Ilpo Väisänen. On this new release for Editions Mego, Väisänen takes inspiration from his experiences with the legendary outfit he and Vainio worked in for over twenty years.
A wide array of musical styles has been distilled into a rough and ready collection that pulses with analog drum machines, hissing noise, ambient atmospheres and a heady dub sensibility. Added to that are field recordings made while on Pan Sonic’s 2000 world tour, breathing life from behind the scenes of that trip, and actual music from the stages they played.
The album consists of 14 tracks, each of which never outstays its welcome and delivers a sonic punch in a few minutes or less. Opener “SYRJÄYTYVÄ” revs into life with what sounds like a locked groove on a dusty vinyl run off, before a lopsided beat swings into view, subtle dub effects adding extra space to its beat. A thin drone accompanies it, but never taking precedence over the main rhythmic pattern. “RAAVITTUA KROKODILIÄ” follows in the same suit, a sliding beat with weird sucking sounds between the snares. The third track is a direct continuation, without skipping a beat (literally and figuratively), it simply extends “RAAVITTUA KROKODILIÄ” for another 5 minutes, layering more and more effects and textures until the beats are swallowed in drones and murk and the track evolves into something completely new: a deep, dark ambient dub venture with massive industrial blasts echoing into infinity.
“POBLE DUB” starts with processed field recordings, fed through delays and reverb, before clanging beats and bass stabs interrupt the atmosphere. “SEATTLE 1” is a harder, more live and direct piece, and by the title I assume it refers to pan Sonic’s Seattle show during that aforementioned tour. This time, beats begin the track before fizzling out into feedback and electronic buzzes and sparks. “SAN FRANCISCO KESKUSTELU” is pure field recordings, the sounds of passing cars and people like ghosts of memory, before being consumed by an arpeggiated sequence of synth squeals.
On some tracks, such as “JYVÄT”, there is pure texture, found sounds eviscerated into tactile soundscapes, while others feel more like a little drum machine sketch, such as “PIMEYDEN VASARA”. This variation feels like a good balance, these miniatures acting as stop gaps and breathing spaces between the more abrasive pieces.
Final piece, “MANAT” stands out in its unique minimalism. A crunch at the start, left over from its preceding track, suddenly switches to a high frequency sine wave. This proceeds uninterrupted for 45 seconds before fading and an ominous and quite cavernous sound appears right at the end. It acts as the perfect end to this album, which acts as the perfect send off to Väisänen’s friend and music partner Vainio.