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 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Vladislav Delay
Whistleblower
Huume

Rating: 7.5/10 ?


June 13, 2007
Sasu Ripatti is of a breed of producers who refuse to tie themselves down to one genre. Sure, electronic music encompasses a vast range of forms these days, so why not explore the limits of a number of different styles? Similarly to fellow Mille Plateau affiliates Frank Bretschneider and Carsten Nicolai, Ripatti issues each facet of his creativity under a different moniker - Luomo for club-compatible house, Uusitalo for more abrasive techno, and Vladislav Delay for his expansive, ambient recordings - more often than not on his own Huume imprint.

Whistleblower is Ripatti's sixth full-length as Vladislav Delay. While it doesn't see him venturing into significantly new territory, it nevertheless marks a sharpening up of the sound he's been honing since the late 90s, merging the most distinctive elements of his back catalog. Musically, it draws from the two preceding Delay albums, Demo(n) Tracks and The Four Quarters, marrying the unsystematic, industrial components of the former with the dubby repetition of the latter. Like on Demo(n) Tracks, Whistleblower sees Ripatti at work with randomised squelches and ground failure noises, while soporific pads keep the theme running in the background - a formula that has worked well for Ripatti in the past, but a one that offers him sufficient room for maneuver nonetheless.

More distinctive for Whistleblower, though, is Ripatti's introduction of dubby bass-lines to a predominantly ambient framework, utilized most effectively in the opening title-track. Beats are flirted with in "He Lived Deeply"; although percussive components can be heard throughout the track, Ripatti is reluctant to commit to a rigid drum pattern, relying on the tectonic bass to root the track instead. "I Saw a Polysexual" and "Lumi" work in sequence, and are sparser points of the album, based around light drones and hazy electronics.

Although Whistleblower isn't the most spectacular Vladislav Delay album, it's probably the most comfortable. For minimalist electronica, it's remarkably bass-heavy, giving it a warmth often overlooked by producers working with the genre. Moreover, Whistleblower is evidence of Ripatti's mastery, representing the refinement of an original sound he has made his own as Vladislav Delay. Though his reach is limited while he operates in this field, his fusing of elements associated with different genres proves Ripatti's importance a producer and musician.

Reviewed by Mike Wright
A staff writer based in London, England, Mike Wright is eternally troubled by the American bastardization of the English language.

See other reviews by Mike Wright

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