Sasu Ripatti has operated under a variety of pseudonyms over the course of his fifteen year recording career. He has released material as Sistol, Luomo, AGF / Delay (with his partner Antye Greie) and is also a member of electroacoustic outfit Moritz Von Oswald Trio. The Finn's best known work however is under his Vladislav Delay moniker. Last year's Vantaa album, his first to be released by the much respect Raster Noton imprint was something of a revelation to me, an eight track collection of deeply experimental electronic works which managed to be as utterly gripping as they were abstract. Espoo follows on from Vantaa's sense of gleeful improvisation, minimalist tropes and squashed sonic aesthetics.
Advance press stated that Espoo was to feature a doublet of "conceptual, rhythm intense tracks" complete with versions which were "close to Terry Riley’s minimalistic concepts" whilst sharing a "linear increase in density" and a "certain folkloric atmosphere" that benefits from the break in the usual 4/4 pattern. Intriguing to say the least.
First track 'Olari' spends the first few minutes of it's running time perpetually rearranging skewed beats and clipped blocks of sound in pursuit of a more formal structure before they finally coalesce into a stuttering rhythm. It's counterpart dispenses with the beats, tying the hiccuping audio snippets together with a sheen of translucent ambience instead.
On the flip, 'Kolari' has a much tougher rhythmic backbone, it's drums hammering throughout the track in a martial style. Once again, Ripatti coats these with a sickly layer of writhing loops and all manner of degraded audio artefacts. The propulsive foundations of the original version are subtly muted on the rework and are transformed into an almost dub-like pneumatic jack whilst the loops are gradually smeared into all the gaps.
With this release, Sasu Ripatti has once again shown his mastery of sound manipulation and compositional adroitness within a frequently over subscribed sub-genre of electronic music.
Espoo is a precursor to his next album as Vladislav Delay; Kuopio, which will be released after the summer. A new Moritz Von Oswald Trio album titled Fetch has also just been released via Honest Jon's Records.
Stream a preview of this release on Soundcloud;