Melancholic, absorbing and quite beautiful


Ctel asked me to review this – Ukkonen – Aika EP. Said he’d be unable to maintain objectivity as he’s too fond of Ukkonen’s previous work. Okay then.

Luomus‘ opens with an exhilarating falsetto chorus of strings, quite startling in their immediacy, before bleeding slowly into swiftly paced synth notes beaten out rhythmically, near monotone, yet wholly compelling. Shades of Koyaanisqatsi but warmer, less bombastic. The remaining subdued components, bass, drum, high hat (?), seem to follow their own path around the central theme, palpitating an irregular, urgent tempo akin to hive workers frantically circling the queen. This euphoric musical ensemble subsides midway and is replaced by the sparse, wistful tones of drum, piano, synth and assorted percussive elements that, despite the haphazard nature of its construction, somehow makes sense. The ending is abrupt, the final disconsolate notes trickling to a full stop.

A solitary, drawn out peal heralds ‘Aikomus,’ mournfully ascending and falling, though quickly other sounds edge in undermining the lugubrious vibe. Again, as the track progresses, the asymmetrical beats flutter alongside erratic, arbitrary sounds as they bleep, scratch and bloop indiscriminately, keyboard stabs randomly punctuating the arrangement. Some semblance of conformity arrives towards the end with the emergence of an orthodox pattern, a mellow pulsation supported by the lingering background tones before finally slipping quietly away into silence.

Melancholic, absorbing and quite beautiful.

Review by D

Out 31/3/2014 on ltd. handstamped 12” vinyl

Luomus video by Sim Hutchins:

Finnish “artic-house” producer Ukkonen – released his second album, ‘The Isolated Rhythms Of..’ through No Pain In Pop in late 2013. The ‘Aika’ EP marks a further progression of his sound; a pair of twelve mins plus tracks centred around themes of growth and decay. In the words of the producer:

Luomus takes a chord sequence and deconstructs it, whilst slowly constructing a rhythmic grid around it. Both elements then break down further before settling into a complex texture with multiple elements all working at different speeds and on different paths. This track also moves from synthetic sounds to acoustic ones. Aikomus starts with a lonely call that receives no reply. An uneven groove kicks in, contrasting harmonies with the call, but it slowly decomposes. Out of the darkness, a distant reply is received and the beat kicks back in, before calming to warm tranquility and finally cold silence.”

Art design by Adam Heron:

~ by acidted on April 3, 2014.

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