OTSO | AAVE
Elli Records (DL)
Finnish composer Otso Lähdeoja (aka OTSO) is about to release his third solo record, AAVE (Finnish for ghost) on French imprint Elli. The whispy-ness at first certainly gives off all the feels of an apparition or something that goes bump in the night. By utilizing glitchy edits and aeration effects tracks like the opener, 01 31.10.2022; 20 38, have a unique sense of mirage/suspension. The sound is fairly set in the lower registers, with plenty of textural ambience, and harmonic interruption.
Keyboards collide with engines restarting, all done so in this saloon-style that bridges the gap between past and present – a paranormal divide. Wavy chords seem flustered, like an amateur thereminist determined to play within scale, though it handles like a lost radio transmission from a certain angle. The atmosphere entices with an equity of the bleak and the bright. AAVE is all about layers and luminosity – in the most oblique corners the resonances jangle in futuristic rhythm, however fragmented, there is a childlike joy in each nuanced imbroglio.
Nothing is abrupt, even with hiss, loops and edits. Instead Lähdeoja offers his experiments in various states of decay and division – but there is always something to draw the ear back to the active narrative (an a contorted beat or two here and there). In a split second I’m sitting at a steely recital, that’s before and after a collapse in the atmosphere. OTSO’s use of effects is sensational, and tricky. We are flying high, planetary-like, beyond the ozone, reaching back to the heartbeat of the past.