Boomkat Product Review:
The Heat Equation is a heavyweight 100 page book and CD set showcasing a new portfolio of photography work by Joséphine Michel alongside a live recording of Mika Vainio's final performance in the UK, featuring all new material intended for his latest solo CD for Touch.
"Following their previous collaboration on the 2015 release Halfway to White, Michel and Vainio had been planning a follow-up production, and in March 2017, Michel visited Vainio in Oslo to show him the first examples of the photographs she had been taking with this in mind. Shortly before Mika's untimely death in April 2017, the project took a turn.
The new Touch recordings were nearing completion but his hard disk had crashed and the project would need to be restarted. The collaboration turned into a parallel narrative between Michel's perusal of quasi-scientific imagery, captured from museum collections and locations in France, Japan and Peru, and the legacy of Vainio's musical vision, the tension between its heat and its icy precision. Included in the book is a postcard of Michel's tender portrait of Mika Vainio taken at this Oslo meeting. If 'Halfway to White' was an exploration of Michel's notion of sonic photography, this new book presents a vision of a world on the edge of discovery - whether it be born of science, medicine, space travel - with 'The Heat Equation' hinting at the transformation of feelings and matter.
In August 2016 Vainio performed a blinding set at the Contra Pop festival in Ramsgate, which was recorded off the desk for the purposes of the festival's annual compilation CD. With Contra Pop on hiatus in 2017, it wasn't until June 2018 that the festival organisers contacted Touch to introduce the idea of the compilation. At which point, as if miraculously, Vainio's counterpoint to Michel's work rematerialised in the form of this live festival recording. Remastered by Russell Haswell, Mika Vainio's new music is the equal of anything he released in his lifetime. Bound in a linen cover with foil blocking, Michel's photography is expertly printed on 200gsm Arctic Silk. Accompanied by an introductory text by artist Jeremy Millar, "The Devouring Drop", art directed by Jon Wozencroft and the latest development in Touch's new series of "ear books"."