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Mika Vainio
Revitty (Wavetrap) CD

 Like the frenzied sharks that adorn its cover, this latest CD by Pan Sonic’s Mika Vainio is a fearsome beast: sleek, elegant, and utterly ferocious. With a few opening click-clicks, the fuse is lit, and from there things come fast and furious, as Vainio unleashes a series of blood-curdling, primal screams on “Hampaat I” (the name translates as “teeth”) that overwhelm with their savage intensity. The effect of this onslaught is dizzying and cathartic. It’s as if Vainio is ripping his sounds to shreds (appropriate given that the disc’s title means “Torn”), and yet the music itself is alternately fantastically immense and delicately precise. Even as he tears sound asunder, Vainio explores the subtle gradations from signal to noise, creating something of animalistic power and cerebral beauty. Vainio has many musical guises from minimal techno pioneer (Ø, Philus) to electro-noise sculptor (Pan Sonic) to ascetic sound artist (using his given name), but what unifies his work as a whole is not only its unflinchingly extreme aesthetic vision, but also the unerring skill of its execution. His first release on Wavetrap, 1999’s Ydin was a powerful exercise in the fine art of feedback overload, and, if anything Revitty is even more uncompromising. From the extraordinary analog destruction of “Hampaat I-III” and “Raatelu” (“Mauling”) to the desolate, melancholic beauty of “Yksinäisyys, Suru, Katkeruus” (“Loneliness, Sorrow, Bitterness”), Revitty is relentless, masterful stuff.

 

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