TO:54 – Mika Vainio “In the Land of the Blind One-Eyed is King”

Track list:

1. Revi Täällä, Merimies (Sunder Here, Sailor)
2. Se On Olemassa (It Is Existing)
3. Ahriman (Ahriman)
4. Hän Oli Ääni Joskus (He Was A Sound Sometimes)
5. Kasvien Väri (Colour Of Plants)
6. Kadut (Streets)
7. Motelli (Motel)
8. Lumisokea (Snowblind)
9. Kauemmas, Ylemmäs! (Further, Higher!)

Reviews: (USA):

“They bestride the Earth.” John Peel said that once on his old BBC World Service show to introduce a Fall song and as a vague reference to how he would often stretch his own programming rules in their case. I feel the same way about Mika Vainio. Unfair preferential treatment is in order and a new release must be celebrated. Vainio’s recorded works have been in the areas of techno (as Ø, Philus), installations (Onko), out electro-rock (Pan Sonic and Endless), and finally soundscapes, which is where In The Land belongs together with Kajo and Ydin. In this context and that of nineties and naughties electronica, In The Land is hardly radical but it is exceptional. Vanio’s work has a quality and coloring that is uniquely seductive and the finesse with which he applies his personal voice to a variety of tasks sets him apart. For example, the very short opener ‘Sunder Here, Sailor’ is a vicious attack of animal and machine noise that, without diminishing its power, has a watery metallic sheen that makes the meaning ambiguous and defies to be labeled as noise. Throughout the album Vainio combines familiar material with the alien, and friendly production with the downright disconcerting so as to keep both the soundtrack to the imagined movie dynamic and its narrative interesting. The only lulling you’ll find here is temporary. But ultimately what overwhelms is the music’s sheer melancholic beauty. ‘The Colour of Plants’, of plain and simple construction, just a handful of throbbing drones and pure tones, sings of the deep yearning for and impossibility of transcending our deadening corporeality. ‘Snowblind’ returns to a favorite resource of Vainio-amplified hum. At only six minutes long it develops a into monumental resonant chord with depth and emotion worthy of its drone music heritage (see the Charlamaine Palestine review in this edition). One more important difference between Vainio and many of his colleagues in electronic music is his commitment to what’s known in the wine industry as low-yield-the notion that one cannot allow a vine to produce copious fruit without diluting the wine and that to make a concentrated wine, the vine’s vigor and productivity must be either naturally or artificially curtailed. As numerous artists have demonstrated, electronic music is very easy to make and the whish-washy results of high-yield methods are abundant. In contrast, Vanio’s stance seems almost defiant. [Tom Worster]

inthe (web):

In the more leftfield and experimental music genres, many have begun to associate laptops and computer based editors as the primary tool in it’s creation and for the most part, that is correct. However there is a long list of musicians and sound artists long before that have been creating work without programs like Max/MSP or Reaktor. Mike Vainio is one of these such artist and as one half of the duo, Pan sonic, Vainio has been creating instruments and generating sounds from synths, re-wired drum machines, and mutated appliances to create his work. While he and his cohort have recently begun to get into computer sequencing and processing, the hard analog and dirty acoustics play a large role as evident on his latest solo work. Hard, edgy and gritty could best describe the current batch of tracks but Vainio gives his work a chance to breath and grow before running it’s natural course and dying off in the end. It’s as if their are small hints of human feelings behing the buzzing and manipulated drones and Vanio doesn’t seem to feel the need to beat you over the head by being too abrasive. This is of course with the exception of the hard and freaky opening number that grabs your attention and sends waves of discomfort shooting down your spine before drawing you in and keeping you listening compulsively for the next audio event. [JH]

Stylus (USA):

Mika Vainio is one-half of the Finnish duo Pan Sonic. Anyone who has read my reviews over the past few years will know that I consider Pan Sonic to be among the finest groups recording today. I’ll grant that their music is not for everyone—there are usually some good beats, but their melodies often lean toward the weird, noisy end of the happiness spectrum. Actually, what I find most interesting about the group is the fact that the two members—Vainio and Ilpo Väisänen—are, in some ways, diametrically opposed musically. Väisänen’s solo works, like Asuma and his contribution to Raster-Noton’s 20′ to 2000 collection, are sparse, rhythmic affairs. By comparison, Vainio’s solo efforts, like Ydin and Kajo, are darker and creepier works, consisting largely of throbbing sine waves and some nasty feedback loops. Both of these elements appear in Pan Sonic, and it’s the struggle between those sparse beats and the overwhelming noise that makes Pan Sonic’s music so intriguing.However, these solo efforts have left me a bit underwhelmed. Many of the works are quite interesting in their own ways, but they are nowhere near as good as the work that both create together as Pan Sonic. I liked Asuma, but it left me a little bored (too much repetition, I think); I appreciated Ydin and Kajo, but the intensity of the feedback noise left me unwilling and unable to bear the works for longer than a few minutes at a time. So when I learned that Mika Vainio had released In the Land of the Blind, the One-Eyed is King, I didn’t expect much.Well, once again my assumptions proved unfounded. This is a remarkably subtle, intense, and enjoyable listen. There’s plenty of terror here—some rather intense explosions of sine waves pushing the ears to their popping point—but there are also many subtle, even beautiful moments spread throughout the disk’s 44 minutes. “Kasvien Väri (Colour Of Plants),” for example, starts off with a series of sine waves that warble and sputter around for a few minutes, until joined by a few Vangelis-like synth lines that push their way into the warbling din. These sounds then spend a few more minutes swirling around each other (like a big soup of melodious air conditioner noise) until, all at once, the din disappears, leaving just a delicate, almost peaceful tone that floats around in pitch and intensity (at one point almost silent, at another almost blisteringly loud), until the tone dips and dies, and the song ends. It’s a wonderful song, both minimalist (there are only really three or four different notes in the whole thing) and chaotic (those notes cover all areas of the sound spectrum, and vacillate in every directions for minutes at a time). Most of all, it’s a wonderful song because the music itself weaves a wonderful spirit of dissonance and creativity, bringing an image of the title, “color of plants,” to life in vivid, “colorful” detail. In the Land of the Blind, the One-Eyed is King is a work of atmosphere. That’s not surprising. Most Pan Sonic works (and most solo works by the members of Pan Sonic) are atmospheric, even cinematic in scope and execution. The great thing about Pan Sonic’s music is the duo’s amazing ability to concoct so many different feelings and emotions out of such simple, almost elemental musical sources. Vainio’s solo efforts are usually just as sparsely composed, but they too often subsumed themselves in dark, depressing landscapes of noise and morbidity. Vainio’s latest, however, is different. Yes, it is a work of power; the noise of Vainio’s homemade machines is always present. But this time, the noise and the power are not the end product: rather, they are the raw materials, the primordial soup out of which Vainio rips and pulls and molds and shapes nine beautiful, delicate, musical gems. [Michael Heumann]

Flux (UK):

The Finnish monarch of stripped post-technoid rumble surpasses himself. From the opening earbashing, Pan Sonic’s more dangerous half doesn’t let up on quality. His genius: the awesome pursuit of impulses towards minimalism, abstraction and power, perfectly distilled, reigned in and still menacing. The strongest experimental record I’ve heard this year. [Graeme Rowland]

VITAL (Netherlands):

“Generally speaking, contemporary musicians produce too much stuff. It is easy to do. But if you feel like sighing, “Oh, it’s another Mika Vainio CD” self has anticipated such sentiments with the opening track, a 2 minute blast which sounds like an angry animal breaking free of its cage” – it’s what Touch says. With just his third solo CD for Touch, I don’t think one can say he produces too many. I have been playing this new CD a couple of times now, and the material starts to grow immensly. At first I thought it to be a quite boring CD, with half-baked ambient ideas and likewise rhythm experiments, but the more I play this, the better the material gets. Vainio is more on the edge of sound collage then his previous solo efforts, or his work with Pan Sonic. Sounds and textures of varying mood (although they are mostly darkly coloured) go hand in hand on this CD. Upon close listening this CD reveals more depth then superficially seems present on this CD. In some of these tracks, the old Vainio is still present, such as in ‘Lumisokea’, with it’s staggering sine wave experiments in a repeating drone mood. It’s only the natural link to his new work. A track like ‘Se On Olemassa’ could be horror soundtrack straight away. A CD that grows infinitely.

[Frans de Waard]

Ink19 (USA):
The title, translating to, “In The Land Of The Blind The One-Eyed is King” seems almost utopian compared to being in a land of one-eyed people with a blind king. Aside from knee-jerk politics, the real question of “The Land of the Blind” is how useful our ears are to our general orientation. As usual, Mika Vainio’s work can rarely be accused of lacking curiosity in that regard. Vainio’s partnership in Pan Sonic has shown a two-pronged interest in trance-inducing ambience and human hearing perception. If we want to reduce all of the complex things that go into a collaborative effort, Vainio sculpts the ambience and Ilpo Vaisanen is in charge of human hearing perception, and additionally seems to have particular attention vested in rhythm and reduction. You can deduce this from Vaisanen’s engaging release on Mego, Asuma, and any number of Vainio’s releases from the past years. Pan Sonic has had plenty of Wire Mag-related acclaim for their allegedly austere, mechanical, and sparse sound. Yet, austerity, sine wave tones, and psychoacoustics are without a doubt more effectively executed by Touch labelmate Ryoji Ikeda. This is not to suggest that Vainio and Vaisanen aren’t fairly potent artists. Yet, joined together, Vainio’s electrical socket timbres and Vaisenen’s sine palette seem pale compared to Ikeda’s even sparser vision. Vaisenen’s Asuma release showed traces of a pop sensibility that might’ve been responsible for Pan Sonic’s relative success on the IDM circuit. Vainio, on the other hand, makes a little less sense, at first. There seems to be a general confusion that makes the word “cold” synonymous with “impersonal”. Ikeda’s work is impersonal, human expression is not the point, pinprick explorations into the science of hearing is what seems to emanate from his recordings. Pan Sonic, and Vainio’s “One-Eyed”, in particular, is cold music. The human hand that created it is never far from the work, the chills and inconsolable barrenness, while maybe conveying a similar emotional response in the listener as Ikeda’s human-absent proceedings, is fundamentally different in practice. Someone like Oval makes impersonal music that still has warm, emotional overtones, after all. Vainio’s work has waffled between being the ghost traces of corroding mechanics and decidedly Finnish expressive qualities that allow a not-entirely-unfair allusion to a composer like Jean Sibelius. One-Eyed shows a Vainio with a comfortable, wintery, musical vocabulary, that echoes Sibelius’ Scandinavian alienation (the press release even compares it to the soundtracks to the films of Tarkovsky, which, while Russian, share a similar stoicism). Granted, all of this is exemplified by Vainio’s use of ominous, though somehow comforting drones, which the Touch label seems to hold the trademark for. Through this, Vainio, rather than presenting the found sounds of electrical charge, gives his work a personal and melancholy taste. In The Land Of The Blind The One Eyed Is King is achingly bleak. Look at the overcast evening photograph on the cover, or the empty chairs on the back. Perfectly summed up by the photograph inside, of people sitting in what looks to be an airport, staring out into the blank, blue landscape. This is dry-eyed, exhausted music, without almost diary-like entry portals into Vainio’s life.
[Kim Shannon]

Junkmedia (USA):

At the risk of sounding like I’m auditioning for “High Fidelity – the Musical”, I have to admit that I gave up on the Finnish electronic duo Pan Sonic after their first three albums. This isn’t because they lost their knack, or that once forced to drop the other “a” in their original name they were suddenly inspired to go too “commercial” for my tastes. No, in fact, the opposite is true. What happened was Pan Sonic remained exactly the same. For better or worse, Pan Sonic has carved out a niche — vertiginous tone experiments, radar pulse grooves, and dry synth beats — so perfectly they seem trapped in it. I got the idea. I lost interest. Both Ilpo Väisänen and Mika Vainio released solo albums in the years since I lost touch with Pan Sonic and I ignored them completely. So it was with a mixture of blasé disinterest and guilty conscience that I slid Vainio’s In the Land of the Blind One-Eyed is King into my stereo. “Sunder Here, Sailor”, the opening track, a shimmering, white squall of noise, retreats into a solid bit of ambience called “It is Existing” that sounds like a quiet section from a Coil record — very satisfying, totally creepy, and not a very Pan Sonic-sounding track at all. The entire album has a unique fidelity: You can hear the open room, the echo of unfinished concrete walls, the lack of furniture. If this is electronic music, then it is not simply a series of MP3s passed from one computer to another. The music here has been oxygenated, passed through actual air and microphones. The presence of an earthly environment is a welcome change from the Pan Sonic sound, which seemed created in a kind of prismatic limbo.With a lot of Pan Sonic records you kind of feel like putting them on only to justify their purchase, but tracks on In the Land… such as “Streets” and “Snowblind” carve a truly engaging listen out of tremulous ambience. Vainio’s emotional perception has never been so acute as it is here. There’s always been a great seriousness to Vainio’s music; Pan Sonic is as unfunny as hell. Here Vainio’s lugubrious expression seems more personal, and less conceptually rigid. However, once the album is finished, it’s like amnesia has instantly hit, and I forget what I’ve heard. Not to say that In the Land of the Blind is bland, because it isn’t at all. It’s just very subtle and unobtrusive. [Don Keye]

Dusted (USA):

Minimalist Landscapes:
The latest solo outing by Mika Vainio of Pan Sonic sees him engaging in a full-bodied version of minimalist electronic glitchscaping. More interesting than most examples of its ilk, In the Land… most often sounds like a barren wasteland, as if you’re trapped in a city-sized factory of humming equipment and threatening machinery. Admittedly, the pieces sometimes seem a bit too random, but at other times Vainio communicates clearly and succinctly. However, I did occasionally get impatient, and felt like things were too simple, seemingly meaningless and simply meandering from one end to the other. Vainio introduces things with “Sunder Here, Sailor,” a minute-long intro track that’s initially quiet, but then explodes into a relatively harsh noise piece. It’s about the loudest and most obnoxious moment on the album. “It Is Existing” is more typical of the nine pieces here, a collection of spooky, low ominous tones and crackling, humming emissions. Towards the end it devolves into extremely minimalist clicks and distant thumps, and ever so slightly overstays its welcome at eight-and-a-half minutes. “Ahriman” is more concise, and introduces rather psychedelic engine-like roars, whooshes, and pitch-shifted tones that make it probably my favorite entry on the album. “He Was a Sound Sometimes” is the ten-minute centerpiece, as well as perhaps the most minimal song. A smorgasbord of artificial buzzing, static, near-silence, and anonymous tones that, at the very end, even includes a test tone. Most notably, Vainio tosses in the sound of a needle skipping at the end of a record, or at least a close facsimile thereof, that slows until it vanishes. The remaining pieces range from electronic tone-drone to densely fuzzy, greasy sounds and heavy drone. A one-minute interlude, “Streets” ends up somehow religious in nature due to the synthetic organ-like sound, while early sci-fi movie soundtracks make a comeback in “Snowblind,” a thickly overlaid collection of annoying tones, somewhat like an opera for a bank of modems. Then “Further, Higher!” closes out the album with a 2-minute finale of quiet minimalism. [Mason Jones]

Pitchform Media (USA):

Rating: 7.7
When not turning entrails into milkshakes with the frequency fuckery of his full-time project Pan Sonic or performing clinical click/cut operations as either ¯ or Philus, Mika Vainio has spent his time accumulating a curious catalog of sounds on the Touch imprint, be they of the curatorial art gallery background sort or the more frontal lobe-frying, barbed sinewaves sort. His fourth solo disc finds a kind of strange theme: sailors. Here he is, all dolled-up like a siren with a wig and fishnets, waylaying freshly shaved skippers on shore leave with a beguiling sound that’s part good-time laughter, part throat gurgling, and part cheap-liquor retching, before he stoves their heads 20 seconds in with a savage blast of broken glass, roars, and machinations. If those Yankee recruits could only have read Finnish, they’d have known that the title “Revi TS¹S¹llS¹, Merimies” actually translates to “Sunder Here, Sailor”. “It Is Existing” breathes some back-alley gases through the lungs, seeping out an air of greasy haze over a slimy puddle underfoot. Once that clears up, Vainio turns his prey down a dark passage, chloroforming them again until all you can hear is their drugged, staggering heartbeats and the swaying neon of the red-light district. Coming to from the stupor, the sailors find themselves stripped clean, clanging against some oil barrels as they try to hide out on an opaque dock in a strange port town. “He Was a Sound Sometimes” drones pleasantly the first two minutes, before the record ends and a needle starts to slowly drag across the label, pulling the ears back down while gathering up dust as it loops itself. Vainio finally gets around to replacing it with a rare record of steamer engines, all surface noise and menacing hiss. Floating still on that boat, he wraps a scratchy wool pea coat tighter around the head before a tea kettle in the captain’s quarters reaches a roiling boil, evaporating all that came before it. The blissful peak comes at the center of the record. “Colour of Plants” uses a gentle harmonium-hum as the starting strand of a relaxing sort of sea cruise, while Vainio assuredly gathers a gravity about it, stretching its salty breadth to encompass all available space, at the same time retaining its hypnotic state, the colors of the open sea glowing a ghostly blue iridescence that carries through the more land-locked tracks “Streets” and two-thirds of “Motel”. But that’s where the nightmares begin. Forgoing the nautical imaginings for the seedier side of noir, the end of “Motel” seethes with a menacing series of squeals before segueing into the drunken lurch of “Snowblind”, which is just blottoed enough to hear the ozone gathering over the flickering TV static, all of it turning into an acid-reflux of hot mash, making the by-the-hour room spin and strobe. “Further, Higher!” finds us by the seaside for a split second, hearing the crashing waves before a low drum hit drops us back into the dank galley darkness, where the shanghaied sailors sleep. Small orchestral flames slowly cast a glow over the claustrophobic space, just catching the glint of a blade before it chops the disc to an end. More frequently than not, Vainio serves up a disarming fluctuation between the extremes of ambience and power noise, even changing horses midstream in the track if the mood takes him. A fine bodily hijacking that’s neither too mellow nor too harsh.

de:bug [Germany]:

Mika ist gewiß ein Held. Nicht nur ist er teilweise mit Panasonic für totalen Paradigmenwechsel in der elektronischen Musik verantwortlich gewesen, sondern er legt auch mit seinen Solo-Alben wahre Schätze analogen Taumels vor, die sich vor allem bisher Gewesenen nicht zu verstecken brauchen. Sein Debut ‘Onko’ ließ bereits tief blicken in nie gespürte Oberflächlickeit mikrobiologischer Klangauslotung. ‘Land of the Blind’ ist ebenso bedächtlich aufgebaut und klingt nach einem sonderbaren urbanen Organ, so als ob verdeckte Berge schmilzen, zu weite Alleen flimmern oder dichte Wolken Großstädte berauschen. Da dies nicht sonderlich oft vorkommt, muß hier wesentlich mehr hinter stecken als diese fehlerhaften Bilder verraten. [ed *****]

ProSieben (Germany):

Mika Vainios dritte Solo-CD für das britische Label Touch ist eines seiner ausgefeiltesten Werke, was die Bearbeitung und Organisation des Klanges angeht. So schrieb das britische Musikmagazin “The Wire” über den Vorgänger “Onko” noch: “Es ist ein bischen so, als würde man das Gras beim Wachsen beobachten, während im Hintergrund schon eine dämonische Batterie von Rasenmähern vor sich hinsummt, die nur darauf wartet ihren Schnitt zu tun”, und das Magazin “New Powers” bescheinigte zu dem Touch-Debut “Kajo”: “der ideale Soundtrack für Menschen die an einem Mangel von digitalem Geräusch in ihrer Umgebung leiden.” So darf man sich bei “In The Land Of The Blind One-Eyed Is King“ nach zwei Minuten Klangaufruhr zu Beginn der Compact Disc zurücklehnen, und Soundscapes genießen, die eine Spannweite von Reminiszenzen an Artemyevs-Tarkovsky-Soundtracks gleichermaßen zulassen, wie die freie Assoziation, von Geräuschen digitaler Insekten umgeben zu sein. Mika Vainio ist natürlich für seine Aufnahmen auf Mute, als eine Hälfte der legendären Pan Sonic (früher Panasonic, bis der Konzern gleichen Namens seine Rechtsabteilung bemühte) bekannt, die gleichermaßen für ihre klar strukturierten Elektro-Stücke beliebt sind, wie für ihre ambienten Kompositionen mit gewissen räumlichen Untiefen. Letztere Rezeptur verfeinert Mika Vaino auf Solopfaden weiter, wenngleich auch mal ein pulsierender Beat die malerischen digitalen Landschaften durchkreuzt. Easy Listening geht sicherlich anders, aber dafür steht Mika Vainio in dem Ruf einer der subtilsten Elektroniker der Moderne zu sein, und dieses Album wird der Tatsache vollends gerecht.

Intro (Germany):

Das britische Touch-Label hat in Sachen Elektro-Minimalismus Pionierarbeit geleistet, noch bevor Clicks’n’Cuts zum feststehenden Begriff wurde. Auffallend ist fast immer die Stimmigkeit von Inhalt und Form. Labelbetreiber Jon Wozencroft designt die CDs von Künstlern wie Vainio, Biosphere oder Fennesz meist selbst. Optisch ist Vainios dritte Veröffentlichung für Touch ganz in Dämmerlicht getaucht: vorne ein Foto von städtischem Straßenverkehr, innen ein Landschaftsmotiv und ein Bild von wartenden Fluggästen. Das tiefe Blau vermittelt Ruhe. Ganz gleich, ob Wozencroft eine Blattstruktur in Nahaufnahme zeigt, architektonische oder technologische Motive – immer wieder korrespondieren die Bilder mit der Musik, beide verbindet ein beruhigender Glaube an Ordnung und Struktur. In einem fast schon affirmativen Gestus geben einem Touch-CDs das Gefühl, dass es ein durchaus erhebendes Gefühl sein kann, am Beginn des 21. Jahrhunderts zu leben. Mika Vainio aus Finnland, die eine Hälfte von Pan Sonic, lässt es erwartungsgemäß summen. Noch reduzierter, noch abstrakter als bei Pan-Sonic-Arbeiten, strahlen die Maschinen eine Wärme aus, die dafür sorgt, dass seine Musik immer wieder mit Bildern aus der Natur verglichen wird. Man könne “das Gras beim Wachsen beobachten”, hatte der Wire geschrieben. Es ist schon ein Paradox, dass diese absolut strenge, lakonische, oft nur noch auf ein paar Brummgeräusche reduzierte Musik Gefühle hervorruft, die keineswegs Schalterhallen, Stromgeneratoren und entfremdete Arbeit assoziieren, sondern Weite und ein freies Durchatmen. Vainio gelingen Klangminiaturen, die Hochtechnologisches in eine Art Ambient-Folk transformieren. Nur während der ersten beiden Minuten liefert die CD ein Noise-Brett, das härteste Referenzen an Kollegen wie Merzbow erwarten lässt, dann schon entknotet sich das Chaos, gibt wieder klare Strukturen zu erkennen. Mit dieser Musik geht es ein wenig so wie mit der Minimal Art: Auf einfachste Formen reduziert, bekommt hier gerade das Nüchterne und Abstrakte, nämlich das, was von Expressivität am weitesten entfernt ist, einen fast schon meditativen Einschlag. Die akkuraten Klangabfolgen bilden einen Strom, der das Zeitgefühl außer Kraft setzt. Die gefühlte Zeit beim Hören ist da um ein Drei- bis Vierfaches länger als die reale Dauer, nicht aber aufgrund von Langeweile, sondern aufgrund einer sehr cleanen, also ganz und gar unbekifften Trance.

Loop (Chile):

Este es el diseño sonoro del finlandés Mika Vainio, conocido por sus trabajos en Pan Sonic, junto a Ilpo Väisänen. Además desarrolla otros proyectos en el área del techno como Ø y Philus; Onko en el ámbito de las instalaciones y Ydin y Kajo en una vertiente ruidista. Falta mencionar por cierto, su propuesta minimalista y oscura que es la que factura con su propio nombre. Si bien Vainio produce ruido en el tema introductorio “Sunder here sailor”, con el rechinar del metal, no alcanza un sonido extremo [tipo Merzbow], sino más bien apuesta por quiebres repentinos, largos desarrollos, ondas sinuodales, loops y oscuridad. Otra característica de Vainio son los timbres y tonos que exhibe en “He was a sound sometimes”; los silencios de “Colour of plants” también tienen lugar y los sintetizadores analógicos que hacen recordar aquel sonido planeador alemán de los ’70. En tanto, en “Streets” se desplaza en una atmósfera oscura, cercana al silencio y al gélido entorno de un lugar inhóspito. Por supuesto que el sonido digitalizado de algún software está presente en este disco como aquellas murallas sónicas de interminable ejecución que se reproducen en “Snowblind”. Con todo, aquí tenemos un álbum que expresa el silencio de un espacio vacío, con sus tortuosos golpes eléctricos en clave minimal. Más info. de este artista en el sello Touch, sección links. [Guillermo Escudero]

Bad Alchemy (Germany):

Nach “Onko” (1997) und “Kajo” (2000) ist In The Land Of The Blind One-Eyed Is King (TO:54) der dritte Touch-Release des heute in Berlin lebenden Pan Sonic-Finnen unter seinem bürgerlichen Namen MIKA VAINIO. Davor veröffentlichte er als Ø eher technoiden Stoff. Davon entfernt er sich immer mehr, indem er Beats gegen Breitwandsounds und Mobilität gegen ‘Mood’ tauscht. Nach einem Trommelfell zerreißenden Reinigungsritual zum Auftakt öffnet sich der Vorhang für einen Tonfilm für das Innere Auge. Düstere Klangschwaden suggerieren, was auch immer die individuelle Gestimmtheit dazu phantasiert. Nur eins ist sicher:
Depro is King. Das Nachtschattenblau und die Messing- und Bronzetöne der Fotoästhetik färben auf die Imagination ab. Vainio tastet nicht mit den Fingerspitzen über Brailleschrift. Er stößt bis zum Ellbogen in die Eingeweide, finnische Massage in Reinform. Eine Vinylauslaufrille knirscht durchs Hirn wie eine Lore in die Unterwelt. Dabei sind Bilder nur Umwege. Vainios Drones, seine Rumpel-, Sirr- und Prasselsounds attackieren die Synapsen direkt im Kurzschluss von Klang und Schock, Reflex, Unbehagen, Staunen, Verlockung. Bis sich allmählich die verborgenen Schwingen öffnen und man sich fallen lässt in die rauhen
Frequenzströme über den schlafenden Städten. Wobei auch das schon wieder eine Metapher zuviel ist. Die Musik ist gerade in ihrer Sprachlosigkeit gewaltig.