Ilpo Väisänen

Asuma

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AllMusic Review by

The Vienna Mego label who brought you laptop computer noise artists Fennesz andPita presents one half of Pan Sonic on a solo excursion into minimal raw electronica. Not for the dancefloor, but head music for the post-techno generation. Much like in his full-time job in Pan Sonic, Ilpo Väisänen weaves the raw noise of electronic circuitry into detailed tapestries of rhythmic pulses and elongated drones. While the form is by no means song orientated, there are structures and detailed transitions between symmetrical forms that tempt one to say this is really the pop record of the post-industrial noise scene that began in the '80s with Throbbing Gristle and NON, and peaked with Oval and Rioji Ikeda in the '90s. The cold tones suggest the bare minimum of means, raw electronic noise, sine waves, and sub bass throbs without a trace of melody, like techno stripped back to the buzzes of the machinery in malfunction. At some points, the lighthearted may think that there is a nest of bees in the circuits of their hi-fi, while the serious electronic composition listener may be startled by the similarities to the work of early electronics composer Tod Dockstader. Like the American maverick, the Finnish electrician has the ability to make detailed sound architecture with a very limited palette. At times, this feels a little bit like a sketch for his greater project with Mika Vanio; while Pan Sonic was so enormously influential on the electronic scene, it would be hard for the members to break more new ground than they did in the '90s. This recording is further affirmation that the Helsinki duo is infatuated with the noise of failing technology, and that they have an amazing ability to transform those glitches and throbs into enthralling hypnotic music. "Easy listening for the hard of hearing" could be the most apt description.

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