Monday, February 20, 2012

monday moods: Ø - oleva (2008, sähkö recordings)

time for another monday moods session. today, i'll be praising one of my favorite electronic albums of recent years: oleva.
o oleva
oleva was released in 2008 on sähkö recordings by Ø, known formally as mika vainio of finland. most recently, vainio has been a member of the vladislav delay quartet (check out some of the tunes here on the eminently linkable discogs). his career in sound production, however, extends back more than two decades. since the early '90s, he's been part of the acclaimed duo/one-time trio pan sonic alongside ilpo väisänen - a project that is allegedly in "cold storage" after the release of 2010's gravitoni. while pan sonic's material usually centered on tougher dancefloor stuff, vainio's music as Ø digs deep into experimental voids. on oleva, the sixth Ø long player, he's found a perfect balance between slow-mo techno and gloomy ambiance.

the album starts beatlessly with 'unien holvit,' a disquieting array of windy drones, beeping tones and thick bass pulses.

later, vainio conjures up a reinterpretation of pink floyd's classic 'set the controls for the heart of the sun.' here the title is cleverly changed to 'set the controls to the heart of the sun,' but it's obviously a floyd rework - and an excellent one, even if it doesn't build to a thrilling climax like the original. check pink floyd's take here, and observe how their exotic melody is recaptured by vainio's twisted bass work.

oleva's latter half descends into near-nothingness, but not before 'vastus' offers up one last set of anxious beats.

consider this a teaser: you'll have to go find oleva to hear how it ends, but last track 'uistetun palaava taajuus' is a subtly triumphant coda to this hour-long journey. i've read this album may be one of mika vainio's most accessible albums, and that's probably true. but it won't stop some listeners from saying these are some of the strangest sounds ever hung off of the techno name-tag. but like almost all of vainio's music, i like to say: oleva ranks among the purest approaches to techno i've ever heard. dark, lo-fi, cerebral, yet still timelessly captivating... enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment