It’s been a long time since I posted something to this blog. You can attribute that to my growing disinterest in being “on” the computer, the amount of travel that’s plagued my lifestyle the past year, or the fact that my extraordinarily expensive sound card fucked up for two and a half months. So needless to say as my favourite hobby was put on the back burner, this blog suffered the fallout – no new music, no new whiny half-baked reviews.
Then VD dropped a new record (
Why? Well here’s the deal, the dealio, the Nancy Dell’Olio (I fucking invented that – just like that too, no fucking planning, no ghost writers nor fuck all). Wait, hold on, side tracked. Breathe… So I’m going to continue to talk about some stupid fuckin’ records here that no cunt has heard of before, and continue to drive people away from my already on the fringes blog. And I’m going to be using tonnes of commas, because I love them – they’re like little fullstops that you can put fucking anywhere you like.
Anyway, right, I’m cool, I’m cool. No, I’m cool. Ignore that previous paragraph.
It’s been thirteen years since there was a new VD pseudonym – not counting the collaboration, I think Uusitalo is the newest. So it was with heavy anticipation I awaited his latest incarnation. To be entirely transparent, I need to preface this review with the admission that I find interest in everything produced by Mr. Delay. Even the unlistenable early Sistol album (who listens to music anyway? How horribly passé) or the confused and messy “Love Glove” CD. I’m also more interested in what’s been invested in the making of the music than the final outcome – the reflection of the musician in the music is much more interesting than all other aspects to me. It’s what elevates music to art, and what differentiates good from bad – even in seemingly superficial electronic music.
Ripatti is both a new label and new “character” in the VD repertoire. The label is distributed exclusively through the Boomkat.com web shop and will be putting out limited runs (around 500 pre release, I think). It’s supposedly a snapshot of what is being produced in the studio, and will more than likely house pieces that are not viable as parts of albums or other projects.
Ripatti the artist is a bit more interesting to me. It’s the first occasion in which Vladislav Delay is using (almost) his real name. Or at least I think it’s his real name – at this point it’s quite difficult to tell. Maybe he’s grown to be more comfortable in his own skin, maybe he’s gained the confidence in his productions he no longer needs an alias, or maybe he just made some music and slapped his name on it. We’ll never know, but I’m guessing VD doesn’t do things without thoroughly considering the implication. What I can tell you is that this single production released under the Ripatti moniker bears little to no resemblance to any of his previous incarnations, and I have the feeling that it’s the record he’s been desperate to release for some time.
Ripatti “Ripatti01” contains two tracks, “#39” and “#24” – seemingly from the Mark Fell school of naming.
The a-side is a stop/start, medium tempo tech house thing. It’s choppy, glistening and really is the sort of thing I love. I think it’s aimed at replicating 2-step garage with a contemporary twist, but really it works better as a modern take on late 90’s dutch house music. It’s a fun track, and possibly the most accessible piece of music I’ve heard Delay produce, but it never crosses the line into frivolous or juvenile. He knows how to show a great deal of restraint, even when wringing the neck of his new studio.
Finely chopped samples are draped over deep analogue toms and kicks. It’s a very rhythmic record, very controlled. Gone is a lot of the syncopation and dubby depths associated with his most popular productions, and it’s all been replaced with tireless shifting of samples and insane patterns. Only once does the twelve minute track break down to expose it’s Vladislav Delay centered core – long attack, reverb laden minor chord progressions. It’s Delay, but pressed through a mesh screen of contemporary genre traditions. Very cool stuff.
The b-side is very different. It’s a frenzy of fast snappy drums, shuffling rhythms, 80s finger snaps and single note basslines. Its been called drum and bass by a few critics, but that doesn’t sit well with me. Its more chaotic than that (plus if its not an Amen Brother sample, its not drum and bass). This is a record that doesn’t fit with the canon of the rest of his material, gone is the control and self control – but that’s no bad thing.
It’s all glued together with a mulchy, mangled, unintelligible backdrop of noise. Sampled and twisted. I think V has been listening to Underworld’s “Second Toughest In The Infants” – and if he hasn’t, he really should.
It’s a lovely unexpected surprise, and one that makes me very interested in what’s to come next.
You can buy the record right now (if its not sold out) from Boomkat.com, and if you’ve got access to a reasonable turntable, you definitely should check it out. And for god’s sake, don’t leak it on the internet and ruin everyone’s fun.
And I know this aspect doesn’t matter to a lot of people but… The pressing and the mastering of the record are both excellent. Clean and deep, with lots of range and clarity. I watched a lot of interviews and public talks with the mastering engineer Matt Colton – and he said a lot of stuff I profoundly disagree with. Lots of examples of boring music and lots of talk about high resolution being smoother and clearer. Snake oil in my opinion, however I have to admit his work seems spot on. It’s difficult to master modern dance music, but this is an excellent example of how it should be done. Well done Matt!
Now about this weird HDD toy you’ve bought, what are your plans with that Mr. Delay?