Ilpo Väisänen, Asuma

Michael Heumann The Library Discography Haunted Ink Haunted Ink Review Archive The Inkbottle

Released: January 2001

One-half of Pan Sonic, Ilpo Väisänen's solo work follows along much of the same terrain as PS's recent Aaltopiiri, with its scattered fuzzy analog noodling and tiny rhythms. However, unlike a lot of earlier Pan Sonic work, Väisänen's work seems less centered on the white noise that make Pan Sonic memorable (and, occasionally, annoying). What I love about Pan Sonic is what I love about this disk: the recognition that music is best when it is stripped down to the elements of rhythm, sound, note, and idea. Take "Autioitu 1." A simple beat is broken up, panned left to right. It is joined by a mutated version of that beat, which hovers behind the main beat. This goes on for a while, the two sounds getting larger and more distorted (though never losing their elemental "beatness"). A simple oscillated wave joins the fray, rolling around and above the main beat. Then other sounds join in, heavier and darker (pulse wave?). And so the song goes on. It's fascinating listening to the many sounds twist and turn around as they do. What's more, the song is a song--with a structure and a shape to it that contains a beginning, middle, and end. It's an entirely unusual song, of course. But, then again, what of Väisänen's work is not unusual? Moreover, what of Väisänen's and Pan Sonic's work is not wonderful? You tell me.

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