Boomkat Product Review
*Epic compendium of Vainio's audio work for installations and video - 11 tracks of truly uncompromising genius.* 'Time Examined' is a mind-imploding compendium of Mika Vainio's previously unreleased soundtracks and compositions for installations and performance recorded over the past 13 years. Parallel to his more widely acknowledged work as Pan Sonic and Ø, Mika has exhibited in some of Europe's major art spaces and provided sonic accompaniment for a wide range of projects, from contemporary dance to video and film, modifying (but never compromising) his aesthetic as necessary. This collection is also accompanied by a book of images and texts from CM Von Hausswolff, Daniela Cascela and Daniel Klemm, but divorced from these reference points and released as a standalone digital download we're left with a staggering album of visceral sonic slabs of a monolithic magnitude. The longest of these is '4 x Radio', an 18 minute piece conceived in 1997 utilising custom-made mechanisms to manipulate three radios, together with recordings of an electric piano transmitted to a fourth radio. While on paper the concept may sound academic and dry, the alchemical result is an unpredictable and mesmerizing scape of fluid static mingling with exquisitely pure tones which clearly explores the relationship between silence and noise. Equally arresting, and possibly even more evocative, is 'Berlin Sound Chamber', created for the 3rd Berlin Biennial and constructed from field recordings made in several sonic environments around the city. Here, Vainio creates an intoxicating field of sound wrenching us from the U-bahn to anonymous air vents and industrial building sites with his intensely detailed attention to texture and spatial arrangement often leaving us gasping for breath. Fans of his dark ambient tones should also make a note to experience his soundtrack to Eva Tepp's video installation 'Omertá', using a range of sounds at the periphery of auditory perception to create deeply unsettling and characteristically stoic atmospherics. It's no overstatement to say that this is some of the most awe-inspiring work we've heard from Vainio yet, and even if you don't get the book, we urge you all to check this album immediately. Essential Purchase.