Vladislav Delay
Multila


4.5
superb

Review

by JohnnyoftheWell STAFF
January 14th, 2024 | 32 replies


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist


so as you were asking, let's talk dub techno: minimal techno's spectral, glitchy-scratchy cousin that prioritises ambience, texture and borderline immaterial dub grooves, largely consigning ye powerhouse four-to-the-floors of olde to spangled beats in resonant ghostspace. As far as orientation goes, anyone with a copy of Quadrant Dub or Biokinetics to hand can consider themselves ready-to-go, and the rest of you are in luck because dub techno history is a disarmingly succinct chronicle. It all starts with the iconic German duo Basic Channel, proliferates under their label Chain Reaction, traverses the fourth dimension via the clicks and cuts crowd at Mille Plateaux, and then crosses the pond courtesy of DeepChord (whence the legend continues) – there's deep exploration to be had behind each of these names, but as far as roadmaps go, you'll struggle to find a more user-friendly subgenre this side of trip-hop.

Now, Mr. Sasu Ripatti (aka Vladislav Delay, Luomo, Uusitalo and a generous handful of other aliases) offers a perfect insight into the two middle chapters of our dub fable. Before dropping one of the most accomplished glitch records of all time on Mille Plateaux with 2001's Anima and thereafter starting his own label, his early career as Vladislav Delay comprised a short run on Chain Reaction that affirmed everything worth affirming about dub techno in a singles compilation entitled Multila. The first of several successive high watermarks in Ripatti's most prolific set of years, Multila is a perfect ground-zero within his lattice of discographies for new and returning audiences alike: this record is at once one of the most genre-faithful displays I've heard from him under any alias and a relatively robust showing for of his trademark patchwork of glints and refractions.

As with much of Ripatti's work, Multila fares best when both its affinity for churning expanse and keen ear for granular details are each afforded enough space to all but lose themselves in one another. The opener "Ranta"'s bitesize genre manifesto proves a red herring here with its uncharacteristically succinct mapping of the distant heartbeat, greyscale backdrop and middle-distance grain all heard in so much great dub techno: the majority of these pieces thrive on capitalising on mammoth runtimes to stage dense gauntlets of ever-shifting contour. Detail, detail, detail is critical here – and a steep proportion of it is rhythmic. Testament to his background as a jazz drummer, Ripatti has always distinguished himself through his extraordinary knack for subtle discontinuity, and you'll hear this most overtly in the absurdly intricate gauntlet of fills and beat switches of the percussion-heavy highlight "Huone".

However, the full scope of this thing's rhythmic flair lies in its engagement with glitch – more than fully-realised beats, this proves the chief vehicle of development for many of these pieces. Take "Karha", Multila's most spartan cut, which consists largely of droning ambience and carries itself almost entirely on the subtle disturbances Ripatti sends rippling through its lower frequencies. Hearing him hold the floor with so little provides all the insight you need into central appeal, not to mention a cogent teaser for the approach he took on his iconic follow-up, Entain – and if "Karha"'s central draw is too placid for some, then get ye a load of how the following "Pietola" gradually augments a similar approach with a sequence of glitches so dense it could pass for tape disintegration. It's innovations like these that prelude exactly why Ripatti would soon be as comfortable a guest in the clicks-and-cuts elite of Mille Plateaux as he was at Chain Reaction, but while he would later turn his off-kilter placement of timbral snags into a fine science, his engagement with glitch here plays a lot looser, much more an unparseable stream of background code rather than the willful abuse of individual bugs. "Viite" offers the most palatable showcase here, in part thanks to the more melodic touch it brings to the record's liminal wipeout, but largely because it foregrounds crackling layers of interference to a particularly active extent, emphasising how critical a contribution Ripatti's matrix of textural scuffs makes for the organic qualities of his style.

It strikes to the heart of Multila that such music, with such an unapologetic focus on artificial sounds and oblique structures, can be described as organic at all – it's through the contorted, treacle-clogged pulse pulse Ripatti furnishes that it ultimately sticks the landing. Having done so, it boasts a rare, hybrid compatibility for both background and active listening, at once too dynamic to be called 'ambient' music yet too understated not to be. Such versatility doesn't necessarily translate into approachability – come at it in a bad headspace or with the wrong expectations, and it's an impenetrable slog full of itchy textures and perniciously slow progressions – but afford it the appropriate space and time (nowhere cramped, nowhere rushed) and it opens up as a disarmingly vitalised series of ear-catching nuances and engaging soundscapes, distantly luminous and richly prototypical of the Vladislavs we'd hear in Delays to come.




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user ratings (45)
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
January 14th 2024


60588 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Best genre? / Best album?

Don't think this quite hits the same level as Anima or Whistleblower, but it rivals (and probs tops) Vocalcity for the third best Ripatti album. See you in dubspace xx

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
January 14th 2024


10234 Comments


Pos great work placing this in its context was very helpful for someone who jammed anima got confused and enamoured and fled and wishes to return

Hyperion1001
Emeritus
January 14th 2024


26078 Comments


cool stuff. huone is an all time tune.

Ryus
January 14th 2024


37004 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

nice

excited to contribute to the chain reaction review catalog when (if) i finish my biokinetics review

normaloctagon
Contributing Reviewer
January 14th 2024


3967 Comments


Hell yeah Johnny!

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
January 14th 2024


60588 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

l f g

get that Biokinetics rev in asap Ryus (been too long since I checked in with that one), and

"anima got confused and enamoured and fled and wish to return"

this + (maybe moreso, though slightly less fantastic end-to-end) Entain are defs a good foundation for this, but you should probs grab a handful of Mille Plateaux and/or Oval albs to give that one some context. v rewarding field all-round

pizzamachine
January 14th 2024


27280 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Nice album

mindleviticus
January 14th 2024


10494 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Sick stuff

DadKungFu
Staff Reviewer
January 14th 2024


4896 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Dang cool gonna check this

Havey
January 15th 2024


12128 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

huone gets all the kudos but karha is the true miracle here and i'm tired of pretending it's not!

DadKungFu
Staff Reviewer
January 15th 2024


4896 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Sooo much other music makes sense after hearing this now is it a 4 or a 4.5?

WRYN
January 15th 2024


257 Comments


Most unpretentious music I've ever heard after Loop finding Jazz records.

Havey
January 15th 2024


12128 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

first time i've seen "unpretentious" used in a condemning way but WRYN is a mysterious sort of character

WRYN
January 15th 2024


257 Comments


Actually interesting to see the most minimal/motionless track singled out as the sole Bandcamp preview. I guess it serves the purpose.

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
January 15th 2024


27511 Comments

Album Rating: 4.3

Banger album, will read review. Easier to get into than Entain, more pace, but still that fundamental lack of anchorage reeeeeeal good

mindleviticus
January 15th 2024


10494 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Karha is the best track here undeniably

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
January 15th 2024


60588 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Karha is obvs fantastic, but the holy trinity here has gotta go Huone>Pietola>Karha

I am confused by the discourse

Ironically found Entain easier to get into than this, but this is 90% a reflection Kohde alone. Not often awake by the end of the album (which is no bad thing)

Havey
January 15th 2024


12128 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

current preference order karha>pietola>huone>ranta>viite>raamat>nesso



but it's one of those rare albums where almost any ranking is acceptable,,,

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
January 15th 2024


60588 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I feel in my bones that those bottom two must be bottom two (Nesso more an outro than a full piece and Raamat doesn't add anything that Ranta and Viite don't nail better) but otherwise yes v much so

Winesburgohio
Staff Reviewer
January 15th 2024


3999 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

extremely "hell yes" review. peeping now rawr



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