Review Summary: Sasu Ripatti still stays vibrant and consistent as ever, but adding a modern twist in the process doesn't leave the impression of what was hoped for
Finnish electronic producer, Sasu Ripatti, is a man of many aliases and side projects such as, Luomo, Uuisitalo, Moritz Von Oswald Trio and more. Out of everything that he’s contributed to the music world, Vladislav Delay is the most interesting, intriguing and atmospheric project he has to offer. While his other side projects, Luomo, Uusitalo, etc. are driven by minimal, but groovy house beats – examples of this can be heard on the album Vocalcity
- Vladislav Delay takes a different approach and makes music that sinks in deep within ones consciousness; regardless if beats are present or not. This is a project that requires a great deal of attention because once the melodies and rhythms have started up, there is no escaping its tangled, puzzling and disjointed nature.
Vladislav Delay’s 2011 album Vantaa
was quite a different approach than what the producer usually created. Like most of Vladislav Delay’s albums, they are extremely interesting, atmospheric and minimal journeys, but what was really interesting about Vantaa
was – besides the hypnotic melodies – that he introduced very odd but encapsulating rhythms in his tracks like Lauma. This is exactly where Sasu Ripatti picks up from and takes one step further on this album, Kuopio
picks up from where Vantaa
, and the early 2012 EP Espoo
ended off and goes further into a new direction. The rhythms from his previous album, Vantaa
, are present on this album, but unlike the previous album, the rhythms are on every track of this album and on most tracks even cancel out the melody, and the presence of rhythms on this release are even influenced from the earlier stuff that he did as Luomo. The entire album is almost like being in an elevator that is continuously going past one floor in particular and you don’t know if the elevator will ever pass the floor, but for some reason don’t care and wish it would stay like this forever.
The first song on the album Vastaa starts up and melodies are barely heard as the jittery and distracting rhythms jump in and engulf the track. In fact, most songs on this album have mostly similar characteristics including jitterbug minimal beats that seem to stream inside the mind as if it were a sound slideshow constantly flipping the slide and then repeating over and over again. Hetkonen, Osottava, and Marsila are three of the more random tracks that seem to spiral into oblivion with their hazey and punchy rhythms and have that hypnotizing effect. Avanne is an extremely beautiful dub techno track with a bass drum booming in the background showering your mind with its charm and it is one of the strongest tracks on the album. Marsila, the seventh song on the album, in particular, has a melody that - while it is fairly prominent and dainty - can be annoying over the span of seven and a half minutes. In contrast, the eighth song on the album Hitto has a fairly prominent and dainty melody, but it is executed much more gracefully and blissfully with a rhythm that sounds like a marching band than the song Marsila. The final song on the album Kuuluuko is the best track and the perfect closer to the album as it portrays an image of what Sasu Ripatti once was. Its return to the sound of deep, minimal ambiance and bliss, much like what Multila was, really shows that Vladislav Delay has never really departed us.
The important aspect of Vladislav Delay’s music is patience. The sounds that this artist will present will probably not have an impact on the typical listener, but for those who are willing to sit down and be patient for it to click in will have a grand time, as this music is absolute hypnotizing, brain expanding genius. Those who are familiar with Vladislav Delay and are more comfortable with the ultra-ambient and deep minimal soundscapes on his previous records might be disappointed to hear the inclusion of every single track having rhythms present. It's more welcoming and accessible than anything that he's ever done, and there is a lot more going on in these songs, but sometimes it's quality over quantity. It certain is a deep and intriguing album that will take a while to fully explore. Once it is fully explored, it is so worth it and it is still a very consistent release in this artist’s discography. Vladislav Delay is one artist who is willing to have you drooling in hypnotism by the end.