Boomkat Product Review:
He might have released a veritable arsenal of releases now (in his 10th year under the Vladislav Delay moniker), but Sasu Ripatti is still one of electronic music's most crucial figures. Back in the long-gone days of Chain Reaction / Mille Plateaux, Ripatti honed a sound totally unique to his productions - he had come from the jazz scene, a trained drummer and improviser he began to develop electronic music with samples and degraded sounds making expansive dub-flecked glitch-scapes haunted by the half-seen ghosts of analogue synthesizer melodies and tapped-together beats. 'Entain' was the first I heard of the artist and it blew my mind on its release back in 2000, made up of long-form 20 minute tracks for the most part, I was genuinely shocked at just how original the music sounded. Scraping sounds and clipped basslines were all framed in so much reverb it sounded like you could have been stuck in a cave - this was headphone listening for another dimension and is as breathtaking now as it was then. Since then Ripatti's sound hasn't exactly moved on much but why try and fix something that isn't broken? Here we see the Finnish feller on his umpteenth record and his productions still stand head and shoulders above so many other young pretenders in the scene. The dubwise rhythms are still present but there are traces of two step in there somewhere if I'm not wrong (has Ripatti been referring to dubstep recently maybe?) and those basslines are enough to make even your most seasoned Soundsystem deejay tremble at the knees. For some reason I'm left thinking of Shackleton, or most specifically Shackleton's classic 'Blood on my Hands' with its bendy low-down bassline to end all basslines. There's a similar bass-heavy aeasthetic here, with the bass cutting through the stark minimalism of Ripatti's atmospheres and to be honest - I think there might be something here for the most forward thinking heads out there. With links to Krautrock, jazz, electronica, avant-garde, dub and more this is without a doubt a statement in modern electronic music - it's undeniably strange but at the same time deeply listenable. You hear fragments of familiarity covered with rocky detritus, fighting to get free, and before long you're sold on it. Vladislav Delay is a true pioneer and one of electronic music's true originals, not only that but ten years on, he's still got it. Huge recommendation.