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Despite the fact that Luomo’s music beats to a silicon heart, there is always something tacitly organic about his output – with the icy electronic creases and gliding synths bringing to mind a mist shrouded pine forest… Possibly down to the fact that Finland’s Luomo (aka Vladislav Delay) is a lumberjack when not in the studio, this mental image of suspended nature pervades throughout ‘Paper Tigers’; from the diffused beats and dub-noir of the title track, through to the closing dew shimmer of ‘Make Believe’.
Luomo’s music has always leaned towards the micro-end of house; wherein filigree beats and clinical machinations are inflated by funky-glitches and somersault synths. Yet whilst this is defiantly on show again for ‘Paper Tigers’ it only tells half the Luomo story as Delay’s love of juxtaposed elements pays dividends. Following on from the stately opening and its Jan Jelinek overtones, Luomo immediately plunges the listener into the tech-house beats of ‘Really Don’t Mind’; wherein lvanainen’s vocals are clipped and scattered amongst soaring chords and glitch-soaked digitalis to create a sound that is at once experimental and broad in appeal.
Dreamy without becoming unfocused, the forest analogy is once again brought to mind on the the skipping rhythm of ‘Let You Know’ and accruing pace of the sliced and diced ‘Good To Be With You’. Achieving a sensual fragility that is unreasonably affecting, the likes of ‘Dirt Me’ and ‘The Tease Is Over’ contrast deliciously with the more experimental tracts of ‘Make Believe’ et al. to extend the album’s scope and reach far beyond expectations. Even managing to slip in a couple of thumping tracks that flirt outrageously with mainstream pop sensibilities, Luomo has crafted an album full of contradictions and subtlety that is as cohesive as it is organic
released October 16, 2006
Recorded, produced and mastered by Sasu Ripatti. Guitar by Mikko Iivanainen. Vocals by and Johanna Iivanainen (2-9) and AGF (1). Artwork by Kaisa Kemikoski.
First heard this album on Spotify after appearing in my recommended feed. Didn't give it a listen until after a gig in NY. I had called a cab as I didn't feel like going on the subway. As we drove through Manhattan at 2 AM, Radiation came on. The ambiences, the sax swells that appear out of nowhere, the thick, heavy distortion. All of this coupled with my exhaustion was perfect. I wound up listening to the rest of the album that night, even when I got home. Michael Butterly