Vladislav Delay's newest record is a miracle of sorts, in that the producer has delivered us his first ambient record in ten years. We've been waiting; other genres are all well and good, but no one can meditate on motifs quite like Delay, able to extract sounds from the backdrop and point to them like they're indelible melodies. No beats on 'Visa', though: just Delay wandering the land alone.
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- Visa by Vladislav Delay
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It turns out that that the exclusive gates of US immigration have had an unexpectedly positive effect on Finnish producer Sasu Ripatti. According to legend, a full two week tour had to be cancelled because the stingy navy blue bastards barred him from entering. Maybe they were concerned that Ripatti’s aural assault would be as dangerous as physical butchery and therefore a threat to their perfect existence. Who knows.
The point is, he was inspired enough by this rejection to actually make an album of it - the sonification of ‘chin up, lad’. Armed with a bunch of analog outboard gear, Ripatti, under the alias Vladislav Delay, cooks a feast of ambient noise and technology abuse that is far from dreary. It’s a welcome back to this style for the restless Delay, making forays into more beat-driven and glitchy territory over the past decade. His style is still very much at the fore, with choppy sample loops spontaneously dropping in and out. Grumbling drones lie under the whole with a constantly shifting array of sounds cascading over the top like a dusty sonic kaleidoscope. The irregularity in sonic shifts gives it a much needed human touch, aside from most of the samples being as part of a real chord, making it a great marriage of man and machine.
But it’s through the walls of cloudy melodic noise that Ripatti’s skill really shines through. Like a great Tim Hecker deluge, Delay summons huge drone chords crushed under the weight of reverb leaving a scruffy mess all over the floor for the listener to try to sweep up. There are so many chord guts that it’s both beautiful and disgusting. You’ll find some of the glitchy figures of Fennesz during second track ‘Viaton’ amongst what almost sound like kickflips, and various snippets that sound like Small Craft on a Milk Sea-era Eno across the release.
A very virtuosic album from Vladislav Delay here that toes the line between the ‘nice’ and the unhinged, and from such a weird source of inspiration. Thank christ that America bar so many people from entering their country! Um, maybe not.
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