Release Date: Dec 11, 2012
Record label: Raster-Noton
Genre(s): Electronic, Techno, Experimental Techno, Ambient Techno, Ambient Dub
Vladislav Delay's latest release is a seductive matrix of intersecting, asymmetrical rhythms, but not the sort you've come to expect from Sasu Ripatti under his Vladislav Delay guise. In fact, unlike his previous full-length, Vantaa, Kuopio flirts with some of the energy heard on Ripatti's earlier Luomo material, minus the vocals. On one hand, its sound is firm and dubwise, with dense, voluptuous bass, yet just as much as Kuopio is sensuous, supple and corporeal, it also achieves a weightless fluidity via its coy, elusive pulse.
It can be tricky for musicians to explore sounds that transcend genre without impinging on the expectations of an established listenership. Pseudonyms, however, allow musicians to tackle divergent branches of exploration with seemingly less risk, a moniker becoming a signifier of a specific project, like a Noh performer selecting different masks to exemplify an alteration in mood or character. Through his canny myriad of projects, Finnish electronic musician Sasu Ripatti has managed to embrace a plethora of musical angles, signposted by the guise of whichever outfit stands subject to operation.
It seems like Kuopio is made up of two distinct halves with two thematically different sets of tracks jammed together to make an album. The first half sounds like a stab at recreating the grinding, mechanical texture of everyday life. The second half is still mechanical, sure, but there’s something subtly funky about it too. If this is true, then Kuopio belongs to an earlier age, when records had, er, sides.