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vladislav delay - Tummaa
His first album since signing to Leaf, this latest Vladislav Delay long-player takes on a more organically-derived sound than previous efforts. Acoustic instruments play a big part in this album, and in addition to Sasu Ripatti's own drum work the album benefits from collaborations with Argentinean saxophonist and clarinetist Lucio Capece and renowned Scottish film composer Craig Armstrong, who co-writes on all but two tracks, adding Rhodes and piano to the soundscape. To some degree the live-band starting point for this record provides continuity with Ripatti's recent work as part of the Moritz Von Oswald Trio, and the Finnish producer manages to find various different ways of integrating 'real' timbres with sophisticated electronic elements. Intermittently dipping into this album really doesn't do it sufficient justice. It's only when you turn this up and listen closely to the finer details that its true depths start to reveal themselves. 'Melankolia' alone would seem to absorb an album's worth of editing, sequencing and processing into its eleven minutes, but that's only the start: 'Kuula' begins with a flicker of muted electric piano chords while incrementally, irregular electronic elements spread out across the sound field, with freetime, metallic spring noises counterbalanced by sub-bass depth charges. The track shifts shape countless times between its start and finish, and superficially it seems like an oddly formless, undisciplined stretch of sound, yet once again the production and editing just bombards your ears with data to process, all rendered with craftsman-like precision. As you make your way across this rather vast album, slowly but steadily the bigger picture reveals itself and Tummaa starts to sound like a strange, futuristic re-imagining of a jazz record - perhaps like one of Superslient's more thoroughly dismantled efforts. As far as Ripatti's back catalogue is concerned, Tummaa marks something of a departure from the familiar, but importantly, it's a work that retains the essence of his renowned sonic fastidiousness. Highly Recommended.