Wednesday, 27 November 2013


Mika Vainio - Kilo (2013)
Year:  2013
Country:  Finland
City:  Helsinki
Artist: Mika Vainio
Label: Blast first petite
Time:  54 min
Genre:  electronic
Style:  Ambient  Experimental  Noise

Mika Vainio measures out one of his finest releases to date, bar none, in the staggering 'Kilo' for Blast First Petite. With a barely tamed sense of aggression, it more or less finds the perfect crux point between our office favourite, the beats-driven 'Oleva' (2008) under his Ø alias, and the granite hewn and bloodied metal excursion, 'Life (…It Eats You Up)' (2011), shaping ten tracks of a vivid and viscerally affective aesthetic whose themes of mass, dynamic and tone are succinctly, explicitly reflected in context of his shipping-themed track titles, and surely implied by its frighteningly physical presence. It feels very much like one man taking control of his daemons, strengthening his whip hand and honing his ability to deliver deadly force where it matters, making every pause between the beats count with breathtaking efficiency, and ensuring each ductile synth snarl, thunder-strike riff and bouldering drum occurs with space docking precision. From the midnight drop of 'Cargo', his 'Cranes' and 'Load' toil pendulous beats big as a troll's clackers, and 'Docks' places us out in the cold, waiting for the fog horn synth to deliver payload. 'Sub Atlantic' is the incredibly scary centrepiece, imagining the paranoia of listing in the hull of a sinking vessel far from shore, and 'Rust' is maybe the resultant decay manifest as pure power electronics. For sonic thrills, the lungful oscillator decompressions and pensile Bonham bosh of 'Wreck' make for grave highlights, whilst the slow, purposeful navigation of 'Freight' and the beatless, brobdingnagian mass of 'Weight' appropriately evoke imagery of supertankers carving down narrow, manmade canals and gauging docking depths in the midst of man-eating storms. A massive recommendation.

Mika Vainio, currently based in Berlin, was one half of the minimal electronic duo Pan Sonic from Finland, (the other half was Ilpo Väisänen). Before starting Pan Sonic in the beginning of the 90's, Mika Vainio has played electronics and drums as part of the early Finnish Industrial / Noise scene. His solo works, under his own name and under aliases like Ø, are known for their analogue warm Noise and Electronic harshness. Be it abstract drone works or minimal avant techno, Vainio is always creating unique, physical sounds. He has released on labels like editions Mego, Touch, Wavetrap and Sähkö and he has been producing among others with Alan Vega of Suicide, Keiji Haino, Chicks on Speed, John Duncan and Bruce Gilbert.
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