Mika Vainio - Black Telephone of Matter
Touch # TO:72 [CD]
7 tracks - 54:38 Artwork by Jon Wozencroft 1. Roma A.D. 2727 2. Silencés Traverses Des Mondes Et Des Anges 3. Bury A Horse's Head 4. In A Frosted Lake 5. Swedenborgia 6. A Measurement Of Excess Antenna Temperature At 4080 Ml/S 7. The Breather This is Mika Vainio's 4th solo album for Touch, after Onko [Touch # TO:34, 1997], Kajo [Touch # TO:43, 2000] and In The Land Of The Blind, One-Eyed Is King [Touch # TO:54, 2003]. He is, of course, part of Pan Sonic with Ilpo Väisänen, and also records solo as Ø.
Other Music (USA): As half of the venerable Pan Sonic, Mika Vainio crafts bold soundscapes with uncompromising vision. On his Touch label releases, Vainio appears to strike out in fearless departures from the familiar, and he does so to our benefit. With many recordings in/as Pan Sonic, Endless, O, and Philus, it's under his own name that Vainio is a true pioneer. Isolating sine waves and oscillating drones in sparse dissemination, he displaces the listener and challenges one with his tactile impressions. Spatially, Black Telephone Matter is akin to AMM, digitally reminiscent of Keith Fullerton Whitman, and sensually familiar to Christian Fennesz. Imagine the bleaker moments of micro sounds in Fennesz's Black Sea, and piece them around longer compositions with extremely streamlined and efficient functions. With an impact that is ultimately jarring, closely listening to this album opens up its aural possibilities. Notes take on vibrant undulation, songs singe in dark and drowning ambience, and the breadth of the album reaches far beyond immediate responses. Black Telephone Matter plays like a private instillation of soundscapes in your mind. As far as the tenuous genre of modern sound art is concerned, this is music to my ears. [BCa] Boomkat (UK): Veteran Finnish electronics maestro and one of the most fascinating producers of our times, Mika Vainio returns to the Touch label, the recent home of some of his most uncompromsing work. Last years 'Oleva' and the preceding Pan Sonic album remain examples of the finest electronic albums of the last few years, but they were surely also some of his most accessible. For 'Black Telephone Of Matter' we hear the contrarily noisy and contemplative side of Mika, no beats, but plenty of completely devastating aural views surveying vast abstract landscapes. 'Roma A.D 2727' weaves sinewaves sculpted into brutally effective and nerve stimulating squalls. 'Silence Traverses Des Mondes Et Des Endes' opens with the horrific cackle of a murder of crows before sharply focussed bass blasts with ever encroaching proximity and unrelated shards of textured noise dynamically ascend before crashing to point zero. If you've ever experienced one of his frightening but life affirming live shows, the album's centre-piece 'Bury A Horse's Head' should help you relive the life-changing intensity of his powerful drones with 11 mins of austere oscillator experimentation, only you'll have to turn the volume up for the full body tactile effect. Paralleling this is the set's other extended composition 'A Measurement Of Excess Antenna Temperature At 4080 Ml/s'. A reduction of excess to the bare minimum of electronic hum with brain massaging waves of subbass that'll make your eyeballs vibrate if you're paying attention on good headphones. Nobody else comes close to this man's sonic imagination or level of execution, this is another essential purchase for fans of cutting edge sonics and good music everywhere. Immense.... Aquarius (USA): Aquarius (USA): More and more quiet goes the solo album for Mika Vainio, the Finnish electronic wizard who has brought us such feats of techo-minimalist intensity as the Kesto 4cd boxset set in Pan Sonic and the Metri album recorded as an O with slash through it. But under his own name, Vainio's recordings shrink from existence in the wake of gasping, nocturnal bouts of silence. That said, comparisons to the very-special-nothing-music of Bernhard Gunter (whatever happened to that guy?) or Richard Chartier don't really apply to Vainio's work. There's much more in common here with the 2009 release Vectors from Robert Hampson (also released through Touch), as a revamped interpretation of INA-GRM concrete / electronic compositions from the '60s and '70s. Vainio's palette of sound rotates between chorales of electrical static, snarls of sawtooth buzzings, and cold sinewave generation with a few field recordings thrown in for good measure; and Vainio composes these elements by way of the razor-cut more often than not. Thus, Aineen Musta Puhelin is a fragmentary collage, at times marked by sharpened, Tesla-coil bursts of engorged electricity only to snap to a blackened frame of silence or at least prolonged inactivity.
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Track 5: Swedenborgia
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