Sunday, February 5, 2012

Mika Vainio - "Life (...It Eats You Up)" CD

One half of Finnish electro-acoustic deviants Pan Sonic, Vainio has been producing left-field electronica for many years now. This solo release presents his take on affected, processed, and prepared guitar.

On the relatively abstract 13-minute opener, "In Silence A Scream Takes A Heart", Vainio moves from a playful minimalism to overtly threatening tones, with huge, crushing, sustained guitar chords (something akin to Sunn O))) or Swans, perhaps). The ominous intents are continued, as "Throat" goes for a more blunt no-wave noise angle. "Mining" is a thick, rhythmic attack, with more jagged sounds alongside a primal, mantric beat-box rhythm. The cover of Iggy & The Stooges "Open Up And Bleed" is both cold and sleazy, like a soundtrack to an imaginary urban nightmare. The remaining tracks echo this sentiment, skirting the edges of abstract and soundtrack music, but with all the foreboding menace of a serial killer. Vainio is a world class sound manipulator, and this collection proves that his sources aren't as important as what he gets out of them. A stunning selection, and not for the faint of heart. (Editions Mego)

Mika Vainio site

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