Boomkat Product Review:
Marking a return to his House persona Luomo, Vladislav Delay's Sasu Ripatti follows up on 2003's The Present Lover with another glorious full-length brimming with state of the art 4/4 productions. While Convivial makes quite an impact as a technical achievement (the production is consistently a delight to the ears) this is an album with a lot of heart too. That's partially creditable to the roster of guest vocalists who bring a little humanity to the steely perfection of Ripatti's artificial intelligence: we already know about the Apparat-fronted future disco of 'Love You All', the first single to be lifted from the album, but there are vital contributions made elsewhere by the likes of Cassy Britton, Sue-C and even Jake Shears of the Scissor Sisters, who delivers an uncharacteristically sober performance on the soulful melancholy of 'If I Can't'. Johanna Iivanainen crops up at several points across Convivial, and it's arguably her vocal that integrates most seamlessly into the frosty digital sound world, becoming just another instrument in the mix on 'Slow Dying Places' and 'Sleep Tonight'. Regardless of what moniker he uses or what genre he chooses to inhabit, Ripatti is one of those rare electronic musicians to have devised a sonic idiom that's all his own, and Convivial is a virtuoso piece in this respect: in addition to the obvious technical flair behind all this, like an Autechre or a Fennesz there's such a distinct and unique character embedded within Luomo's circuitry, and it fills every bar of these long, winding narratives. Excellent.