Release Date: Jan 13, 2014
Record label: Darla Records
Genre(s): Electronic, Pop/Rock
Finnish experimental veteran Mika Vainio has kept up a brisk output of new music as of late. In the second half of last year, he put out collaborative albums with Joachim Nordwall and Stephen O'Malley, and on the solo front came Kilo, an arresting set of fierce, heavy rhythms reminiscent of his work in Pan Sonic. Vainio's latest solo effort is Konstellaatio, an atmospheric and often-poignant journey from his legendary Ø project.Konstellaatio is Ø's first proper full-length since 2008's Oleva, though Vainio actually started working on it in 2006.
The Finnish musician Mika Vainio appears to have very little use for trends: For 30 years, in a variety of collaborative contexts and with a panoply of solo guises, Vainio has doggedly explored the outer edges of extreme electronics. In the 80s, he tumbled found sounds into industrial onslaughts. In the 1990s and through much of the last decade, his duo Pan Sonic worked as a sort of analogue revolver, pushing between noise-heavy flotsam and graceful, glitchy techno.
Mika Vainio's work as one half of Pansonic, as well as collaborative recordings such as 2012's Venexia with Kevin Drumm, Axel Dörner and Lucio Capece, often goes hand-in-hand with descriptives like "harsh" or "abrasive", but his solo work as Ø has long displayed a more introspective side, befitting a man of such wide-ranging influences and interests. However, up until Konstellaatio, the music of Ø was still largely based on a skeletal form of minimal techno, its softer edges anchored in rhythm and forward motion. On Konstellaatio, however, Vainio takes a more considered, quasi-ambient approach, preferring to explore textures and the boundaries between heard sounds and silence.