Mika Vainio

Fe3O4 — Magnetite

By Nick StorringMika Vainio returns once again with a disc of masterfully stark futurism. Maintaining clarity and simplicity has always been a priority throughout the Finnish composer's solo catalogue, as well as with the more rhythmic Pan Sonic. Unsurprisingly, this new recording continues along that same raw trajectory. Constructed of thick beams of electric sound, each piece pulses and glistens radiantly yet floods your ears with coarse torrents of sound, alternating violence with stillness, even silence. Like his other work, it mesmerizes with its somehow delicate brutalism, yet constantly breaks the stupor with sudden and sobering juxtapositions. The present work also delights in probing the outer reaches of the frequency spectrum, pushing upwards and downwards away from "pitch," instead aiming towards dizzying auditory sensations that are felt more than heard. Vainio, though, remains eloquent and refined even when dealing with extreme-sounding material. Fe3O4 ― Magnetite will not come as a huge surprise sonically to those familiar with his back catalogue. That said, it is nonetheless sufficiently perplexing, abstract and rich to offer much incentive to return to it for any listener willing to be absorbed into his forbidding sonic universe.
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