Vladislav Delay

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Ele , 7/10
Entain , 7/10 (comp)
Multila , 6.5/10
Luomo: Vocalcity , 6.5/10
Uusitalo: Vapaa Muurari Live , 6.5/10
Anima , 8/10
Demontracks (2004), 5/10
The Four Quarters (2005) , 6/10
Whistleblower (2007), 5/10
Uusitalo: Tulenkantaja (2006), 6/10
Uusitalo: Karhunainen (2007), 6/10
Vantaa (2011), 5.5/10
Kuopio (2012), 7/10
Visa (2014), 6.5/10
Rakka (2020), 5/10

Vladislav Delay (Sasu Ripatti) is a techno producer from Finland who writes lengthy ambient pieces that employ slow-motion, icey dub-like reverbs and jazz-like improvisations cast in a digital landscape of samples, glitches, analog waves, and complex bass lines. His cubism of melodic and rhythmic fragments first appeared on the EP The Kind of Blue (Huume, 1997).

The live Ele (Sigma Editions, 1999) already contained two of his masterpieces, Kohde and Ele . Entain (Mille Plateaux, 2000) reprises those two tracks from Ele, Kohde (21 minutes) and Ele (17 minutes), and adds Poiko (19 minutes) and Notke (17 minutes). The psychological aspect of Delay's art is embodied in Kohde's minimalist pulsation of subdued, watery, organic patterns that slowly begin to interact and refract each other, while the background of glitches becomes more visible and slowly moves to the foreground. The ambient calm of Ele is swept by swampy beats, like the sounds of someone rowing a boat. Poiko feels like a distant tremor of breezes and solar flares that picks up debris along the way, as it circles and radiates and vanishes. Notke concocts industrial polyrhythms and quasi-dub steps out of specks of dust.

The EP Kemikoski (Sigma, 1999), credited to Conoco contains three pieces that demonstrate his aesthetics of loops and glitches that destabilize each other. Past the confused techno-glitch of Keppi, Ventola (13:07) implements an intriguing fusion of industrial and ambient music, evoking machines that communicate in a secret code of glacial pulses and sensual melodic clouds; while Kemikoski (20:53) is a liquid sub-bass industrial dance that seems to be performed in a junkyard of malfunctioning machinery.

Multila (Chain Reaction, 2000 - Huume, 2007) veered towards a more dynamic (even melodramatic) kind of music. For example, Ranta could be a horror soundtrack (a horde of rodents chewing on a corpse); Raamat evokes some kind of decomposing organism; and the dense revolving tapestry of Karha feels like an asteroid traveling through empty space. Huone is even a majestic 22-minute techno juggernaut, finally shaking the groundfloor instead of drilling into the psyche, and a seven minute intermezzo of pure noise does not damage the catchy pulsation at all. Viite, instead, returns to Ele's swampy theme, and the magnificent, incendiary turbulence of Pietola has a repetitive and undulating undercurrent that is reminiscent of Terry Riley's minimalism (like most of Ele).

Luomo is Delay's lighter, fun, childish, disco project. Vocalcity (Forcetracks, 2000) collects all of the house EPs: Market (12 minutes), Class (12 minutes), Synkro (14 minutes, The Right Wing (16 minutes), Tessio (12 minutes), She-Center (10 minutes).

Uusitalo is yet another moniker for Onnekas. This time, on the double album Vapaa Muurari Live (Force, 2000), he performs four lengthy techno (or, at least, "groove-oriented") suites (Notke 2, Terra, Serti, Lunni) that recall Terry Riley's Persian Surgery Dervishes, minus the spirituality and plus the beats.

Anima (Mille Plateaux, 2001 - Huume, 2008) is a 61-minute electronic poem, a prime example of digital soundscaping that draws inspiration from both musique concrete and industrial music. Its structure is fundamentally the structure of a collage. There is a logic, though, in the way the collage is assembled. Delay tries consistently to maintain a grip on his listener's psyche. Melodic fragments and disjointed noises coexist and blend into each other in a sort of "call and response" format: for each languid chord there is a "choir" of tiny dissonances. The contrast creates waves of meaning. The music "talks", at times frantically. But mostly it talks in a subliminal way, through a stream of consciousness of cryptic sounds. The piece is as much a philosophical meditation as a sonic exploration.

Naima (Staubgold, 2002) documents Delay's live performance at Ars Electronica Klangpark 2001, and by far his most experimental album (with references to Morton Subotnick's free-form electronica and Robert Ashley-ian conversational operas).

Demo(n)tracks (Huume, 2004) contains 13 impressionistic electronic vignettes that, altogether, constitute a meandering (although mostly soothing) glitch-ambient-dub symphony. Delay shows an uncanny ability to craft unfriendly chaotic soundscapes. The harsh moments, like Kaikki Hyvin and Kohmeesa Alt, border on power electronics. The dance beat rarely becomes prominent. Even when it's visible, like in Onttola, it stands shyly in the background. However, too much sounds amateurish, and some kitschy "songs" sabotage the admosphere (Kainuu sounds like a remix of lounge jazz music).

Explode (AGF, 2005) is a collaboration with spoken-word artist AGF.

The Four Quarters (Huume, 2005) is another foray into ambient dub/glitch fusion in a cold, surgical atmosphere. The First Quarter (15:29) indulges too long in rather tedious slow repetition, and The Third Quarter (14:34) is a bit too confused and incoherent, The Second Quarter (15:03) is instead a top achievement of his chaotic bustling soundscapes, continuously reshaped by fragmented and subtle sounds. The Fourth Quarter (16:00) is a slow-motion implementation of the same concept, in search of catatonic hypnosis and repressed emotions, ending with a six-minute coda of "whispered" tribal drumming and undulating droning. The "glitches" of this musique concrete sound like ordinary noises of daily life, sometimes simply the noises that one can cause by walking in a dark basement full of junk.

Whistleblower (Huume, 2007) lacked the meticulous production of Delay's best moments but it melted their superhuman coldness into more emotional material. If Whistleblower (9:44) and Wanted to Kill (12:19) sound rather trivial collages of sounds, I Saw A Polysexual (9:19) exhibits an almost narrative quality, with tentative melodies and rhythms. and the spastic dance of He Lived Deeply (12:54) mutates into an extraterrestrial transmission. The sinister Recovery Idea (10:00) sounds like the soundtrack for a documentary on the secret life of carnivore plants.

Uusitalo's Tulenkantaja (2006) and Karhunainen (2007) did to techno what Luomo had done to house.

Vladislav Delay's limited-edition double-LP Tummaa (Leaf, 2009) documents a collaboration with Lucio Capece on clarinet and saxophone, and Scottish soundtrack composer and arranger Craig Armstrong on keyboards. It marked a curious detour into acoustic music.

Luomo released The Present Lover (2003), Paper Tigers (2006) and Convivial (2008).

Vladislav Delay, who was also the drummer in the Moritz Von Oswald Trio, formed a quartet (on which he plays drums and percussions) with Mika Vainio (on electronics), Lucio Capece (bass clarinet and soprano sax) and Derek Shirley (double bass), documented on Vladislav Delay Quartet (Honest Jons, 2011), notably the subliminal 12-minute Santa Teresa.

Vantaa (Raster-Norton, 2011) returned Delay to his icy brainy murky dub-industrial soundpainting with pieces that sound like the stream of consciousness of a mathematician trying to prove a difficult theorem. The bubbling wavering flow of Luotasi and the swampy psychedelic dub of Henki are emblematic. On the bright side, the castrated industrial music of Lipite has a funereal quality, and echoes of the African jungle are eroded by a hyperbass syrup in The dancefloor-oriented pieces are less successful: Vantaa is a rather dumb, if muscular, beat engine, and the pounding breathless Lauma is just fine for sweating all night long but not exactly groundbreaking.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Sara Montefiori)

Vladislav Delay (Luukas Onnekas) è un produttore techno finlandese che scrive lunghi pezzi ambient,

impiegando effetti al rallentatore, gelide vibrazioni dub e improvvisazioni di stile jazz fuse in un

paesaggio digitale fatto di campionamenti, impulsi, onde analogiche e complesse linee di basso. Il suo

cubismo dai frammenti melodici e ritmici è apparso per la prima volta nell' EP The Kind of Blue (Huume,1997).

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Andrea Marengo)

L'album dal vivo Ele (Sigma Editions, 1999) conteneva già due dei suoi capolavori, Kohde ed Ele. Entain (Mille Plateaux, 2000) riprendeva quelle due tracce da Ele, Kohde (ventuno minuti) ed Ele (diciassette minuti); le altre tracce erano Poiko (diciannove minuti) e Notkle (diciassette minuti). L'aspetto psicologico dell'arte di Delay è rappresentato dalla pulsazione minimalista dei pattern organici sommessi e inumiditi di Konde, che si rinfrangono e interagiscono l'un l'altro, mentre il sottofondo di suoni glitch diviene sempre più visibile mentre emerge lentamente in primo piano. La quieta ambient di Ele dilaga nei ritmi paludosi allo stesso modo di qualcuno che rema una barca. Poiko somiglia ad un fremito di brezze e fiamme solari distanti che recuperano detriti lungo il percorso come se si muovessero in circolo irradiandosi per poi svanire. Notke miscela poliritmi industriali fuoriuscendo dalle chiazze di polvere dub.

Multila (Chain Reaction, 2000 - Huume, 2007) proponeva una musica più dinamica (e drammatica). Ranta Could, ad esempio, potrebbe essere l'ideale colonna sonora di un film dell' orrore (rievoca un'orda di roditori che mastica un cadavere); Raamat ricorda un organismo in decomposizione; mentre il denso arazzo roteante di Karna somiglia ad un asteroide che viaggia nel mezzo di uno spazio vuoto. Huone è un altro maestoso monolite techno di ventidue minuti che preferisce mettere i piedi a terra piuttosto che incanalarsi nella psiche, mentre un intermezzo di sette minuti di rumore puro li fa apparire meno brutali della pulsazione orecchiabile della traccia. Viite riprende il tema paludoso di Ele, mentre la magnifica turbolenza incendiaria di Pietola è una corrente sotterranea ondeggiante e ripetitiva che rievoca (ancor più di Ele) il minimalismo di Terry Riley.

Luomo è il suo progetto "disco" più accessibile, divertente e infantile. Vocalcity (Forcetracks, 2000) raccoglie tutti i suoi EP di musica House: Market (dodici minuti), Class (dodici minuti), Synkro (quattordici minuti), The Right Wing (sedici minuti), Tessio (dodici minuti) e She-Center (dieci minuti).

Uusitalo è un'altro nome d'arte di Onnekas. Sul doppio Vaapa Muurari Live (Force Live) egli proponeva quattro lunghe suite techno (o, per meglio dire, "orientate sul ritmo"): Notke 2, Terra, Serti e Lunni, che ricordano un ipotetico Persian Surgery Dervishes di Terry Riley ritmico e privato della sua spiritualità.

Anima (Mille Plateaux 2001 - Huume, 2008), un poema elettronico di sessantuno minuti, è un esempio fondamentale di scultura sonora digitale che si ispira tanto alla musica concreta quanto a quella industriale. La sua struttura è, fondamentalmente, quella di un collage che segue però una logica precisa, come se il musicista volesse mantenere una stretta nella psiche dell'ascoltatore. Frammenti melodici e rumori dsgiunti coesistono tra loro miscelandosi in una specie di formato "call and response": per ogni languido accordo vi è un"coro" di dissonanze minute che genera un contrasto di onde di significato. Talvolta la musica "parla" freneticamente, facendolo spesso in modo subliminale e tramite un flusso di coscienza di suoni criptici. Questa traccia è tanto una meditazione filosofica quanto un'esplorazione sonora.

Naima (Staubgold, 2002) documenta un'esibizione dal vivo di Delay all'Ars Electronica Klangpark 2001. Questo è di gran lunga il suo album più sperimentale (che include riferimenti all'elettronica free-form di Morton Subotnick e alle opere conversazionali di Robert Asley).

Demo(n)tracks (Huume, 2004) è una sinfonia ambient-dub divagante (anche se, indubbiamente, mitigante).

Explode (AGF, 2005) è una collaborazione con l'artista spoken word AGF.

Delay ritornava infine alla sua estetica ambient dub/glitch in The Four Quarters (Huume, 2005), dove la musica veniva composta con precisione chirurgica fredda ed estrema.

Whistleblower (Huume, 2007) metteva in evidenza la stessa produzione meticolosa e la sua freddezza criptica. Recovery Idea somiglia a Multila visto dagli occhi di un uomo più calmo e saggio.

Tulkentaja (2006) e Karhunainen (2007), attribuite a Uusitalo, facevano alla techno quello che Luomo ha fatto alla musica house.

Il doppio LP in edizione limitata Tummaa (Leaf, 2009) documenta una collaborazione con Lucio Capece (al clarinetto e al sassofono) e con il compositore di colonne sonore e arrangiatore scozzese Craig Armstrong (alle tastiere).

Luomo pubblicò The Present Lover (2003), Paper Tigers (2006) e Convivial (2008).

Vladislav Delay, anche attivo come batterista nel Moritz Von Oswald Trio, fondò un quartetto (nel quale suonava batteria e altre percussioni) con Mika Vainio (all'elettronica), Lucio Capece (al clarinetto basso e al sassofono soprano) e Derek Shirley (al basso doppio), come documentato su Vladislav Delay Quartet (Honest Jons, 2011), nel quale sono degni di nota i dodici minuti di Santa Teresa.

Delay riprendeva la sua glaciale industrial-dub techno oscura e cerebrale su Vantaa (Raster Norton, 2011), le cui tracce somigliano ad un flusso di coscienza di un matematico che prova a risolvere un teorema complesso.

Delay's Kuopio (Raster-Norton, 2012), which came after half-baked albums, is an exercise in spoiled hypnosis. The sophisticated architectures employ elusive shifting loops and delicate bubbling mixtures of timbres, a combination that destroys the hypnosis while it is building it. From the hiccupping, stuttering dub of Vastaa all the way to the relatively straightforward techno ecstasy of Hitto, that seems to mock Dead or Alive's You Spin Me Round, the album is a parade of altered state of rhythmic exuberance. The intricate pulses of Avanne (8:16) first become a frantic gallop and later almost a locomotive. The relentless tribal drumming of Kellute turns into the closest thing to a techno dance while the obsessive percussive feast of Osottava stubbornly eludes fruition. The highlights are perhaps the cyclical android poem Hetkonen (9:40), a living creature that first seems to acquire a melodic quality and then slowly disintegrates, and Marsila, the most dizzying and orgiastic ballet, where clapping, clicking, pounding drums as well as grating and scratching noises all come together. Kulkee is his idea of what a pop ballad should sound like: repetitive, robotic, limping dub-like and psychedelically distorted. This classy album of austere and virtuoso digital production was perhaps Delay's best effort since Entain.

Delay's new passion, the pitch-shift, permeates Visa (Ripatti, 2014). The dense, visceral 23-minute Visaton is driven by pulsating organ drones amid echoes of Terry Riley but halfway becomes a manic beat intersected by random brief bursts of dissonant organ and then implodes in a series of radioactive emissions. Even better is the ten-minute Viaton: a dark shapeless revolving mass of noise, like a journey inside a black hole, ending with a helicopter-like noise pierced by a storm of carnivore birds. And the ten-minute Vihollinen is a testament to how disorienting this noisier, louder, faster kind of musique concrete can be. While not even close to the painstaking precision of Kuopio, this album marked a transition towards a more aggressive sound.

Untitled - Circa 2014 (2018) contains leftovers.

After a four-year-long silence, mostly spent in the Arctic wilderness, Delay returned with Rakka (Cosmo Rhythmatic, 2020), which accelerated the adoption of a new aggressive style. The hysterical percussive Rakka is emblematic of the shift from psychology to violence, and the carpet bombing of Raataja is perhaps the best implementation of that manifesto. However, the destructive ebullience Rampa that may shock but doesn't build anything. Rakkine is equally incoherent and inconclusive, and Raajat is plain childish. Alas, these brutal mayhems preserve nothing of the elegant subtlety of Delay's best works.

Delay also collaborated with Jamaican reggae drummer Sly Dunbar on Nordub (2018) and 500-Push-Up (2020).

(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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