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Vladislav Delay: Rakka (LP, Cosmo Rhythmatic, February 2020)

This is Sasu Ripatti’s first proper release since apparently quitting the music industry and getting rid of all his kit, so it’s not surprising that he’s come back different. I actually did some revision for this write-up: I went back and re-listened to the four previous Sasu Ripatti records I own, from the aliases Luomo, Uusitalo, and Vladislav Delay, to see whether I could find foreshadowing. Those other records mostly seem to exist somewhere on a line between deep house and dub techno, and range from the merely idiosyncratic to the downright deconstructionist, but the sound was always pretty crisp and the mood decidedly laid-back. This… this is neither of those things. There were hints on 2011’s Vantaa, and a proper taster on that album’s stand-out track Lauma. But that’s about all I could find.

Anyway. This is kind of dub techno by way of noise, industrial, and glitch. The beats are pummelling and half of the rhythmic elements are made more out of distortion and static than anything resembling a drum. Huge, slab-like chords pulsate and resonate epically. In some ways, it’s like a hardcore version of that Automatisme record from a couple of years ago. One track, Rakkine, has something that is just about recognizable as a ranting human voice that reminds me more of Whitehouse than anything else. With the exception of the mid-album interlude, Raakile, this is all pretty brutal, to be honest, and it’s pretty good fun, too.

I bought this from Juno. They call it Experimental / Electronic.

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