Mika Vainio Black Telephone of Matter

Mika Vainio Black Telephone of Matter
Pan Sonic member Mika Vainio's newest effort is in many ways perplexing, offering up everything from processed field recordings to remote-sounding rhythmic sequences to penetratingly pure tones. But perhaps the most beguiling aspect is the way in which these elements are arranged. While many current composers of abstract electronica opt for flowing gestures, smooth ambience, static drones/textures or flickering glitches, Vainio finds a peculiar way of reconciling these approaches through simple juxtaposition ― not dissimilar to early Nurse With Wound. The often-brazen jump cuts and stark silences make for a bit of bumpy ride for the listener but a compelling one nonetheless. While it often feels as if you're moving from one panel of sound to the next without much familiar structure, each moment within those panels is quite rich, regardless of origin. One moment you'll be immersed in a protracted slab of synth drone and the next you'll be jolted into deciphering the origin of some distant natural sound. The jumpiness though has a way of smoothing itself out, likely due to the abundance of delicate sounds amidst the harsh edits. Ultimately, the album evokes a sense of ethereal mystery rather than utter confusion. (Touch)