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Boomkat Product Review:
Despite the fact that Luomo's music beats to a silicon heart, there is always something tacitly organic about his output - with the icy electronic creases and gliding synths bringing to mind a mist shrouded pine forest... Possibly down to the fact that Finland's Luomo (aka Vladislav Delay) is a lumberjack when not in the studio, this mental image of suspended nature pervades throughout 'Paper Tigers'; from the diffused beats and dub-noir of the title track, through to the closing dew shimmer of 'Make Believe'. Continuing to indulge his vocal leanings through the Luomo personality, 'Paper Tigers' is again draped in the warm and comforting larynx of Johanna Iivanainen (one of Finland's leading jazz singers) as well as featuring an appearance from other half AGF (aka Antye Greie) - both of whom provide a human thread amongst the austere and intricately structured digital compositions. Impossible to categorise within a convenient genre boundary, Luomo's music has always leaned towards the micro-end of house; wherein filigree beats and clinical machinations are inflated by funky-glitches and somersault synths. Yet whilst this is defiantly on show again for 'Paper Tigers' it only tells half the Luomo story as Delay's love of juxtaposed elements pays dividends. Following on from the stately opening and its Jan Jelinek overtones, Luomo immediately plunges the listener into the tech-house beats of 'Really Don't Mind'; wherein lvanainen's vocals are clipped and scattered amongst soaring chords and glitch-soaked digitalis to create a sound that is at once experimental and broad in appeal. Dreamy without becoming unfocused, the forest analogy is once again brought to mind on the the skipping rhythm of 'Let You Know' and accruing pace of the sliced and diced 'Good To Be With You'. Achieving a sensual fragility that is unreasonably affecting, the likes of 'Dirt Me' and 'The Tease Is Over' contrast deliciously with the more experimental tracts of 'Make Believe' et al. to extend the album's scope and reach far beyond expectations. Even managing to slip in a couple of thumping tracks that flirt outrageously with mainstream pop sensibilities, Luomo has crafted an album full of contradictions and subtlety that is as cohesive as it is organic.