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Boomkat Product Review:
Vladislav Delay revisits his 2007 salvo with a ruggedly sensitive expanded/remaster of one of his heaviest albums, following recent reissues of ‘Multila’ and ‘Anima’ - a double must-check for fans of crooked post-dub techno and ambient noise.
‘Whistleblower’ marks a technical and psychic turning point in Delay’s oeuvre some ten years after his debut for Chain Reaction and a long period immured in the belly of the Berlin beast. Leading on from our personal fave ‘The Four Quarters’ (2005), the original edition of ‘Whistleblower’ was his final album to be produced with vintage analogue equipment, which gives the whole album a sinuous coherence and hands-on quality that made his early work so resoundingly cherished by electronic music fiends. It was also realised in the run-up to the birth of his daughter and found him reassessing his lifestyle in Berlin, as reflected in the music’s anxious fray and furrows, and existentialist gestures such as his riffing on Miles Davis’ tribute to Duke Ellington in ‘He Lived Deeply’.
For this 2023 edition - its first vinyl pressing - Vladislav presents overhauled versions of ‘Whistleblower’ created from previously unheard alternate mixes. You may need to be familiar with the original to tell the difference, but this new edition appears to trim any fat and get right down to bare bones and sinewy gristle of what he intended in the first place. His visionary, haptic hardware tekkerz chisel away what he now considers unnecessary to reveal the work’s coruscating qualities and harmon-oxidised textures with a newfound bite, while the awkward rhythms dissolve, prang and resolve in perpetual elemental cycles that still beggar belief to his patented studio magick. sIt’s a masterclass in finding the signal amid the noise, and with a strangely meditative nature that comes thru with immersion.