The Sound Projector review on Ilpo Väisänen

So, the Prostir label run by Dmytro Fedorenko has recently founded a little sub-label called I Shall Sing Until My Land Is Free. Seems its main purpose is to support the Ukrainian struggle against the Russian invasion, channelling any profits towards “humanitarian foundations”, which we can all agree is a good thing to be a-doing. An early release we have here called Keskipäivän Hetken Sumea Vaillinaisuus (SONG 06) from the great Ilpo Väisänen, Finnish electronic hero of Pan Sonic fame. Title translates as The Fuzzy Emptiness of the Midday Moment, a phrase which may sound non-committal or abstract, but there’s nothing vague about the creator’s intention which expresses itself in words on the press release… “I want to point out that there is a genocide currently happening in Europe,” rails our stern Finn. “Damn it, it’s here now.” Impressively, despite subject matter of conflict and oppression, there’s not much real violence in his steely and disturbing music here, comprising terse and clipped statements of non-specific nature, clean lines, very little fuzz or distortion…amounting to a vision, or at least a glimpse, of an unwelcome scenario and landscape which he sees with terrible clarity. With an unblinking stare, the music continues to pull us into the central core. A short mini-album spinning at 45 rpm delivers less than 23 mins of music, but its concision is part of the overall statement. Good it be that musicians can contribute to the propagation of some truth in our lives, at a time when our politicians continue to play their malign games of obfuscation, spin, and widespread dishonesty. Ilpo Väisänen hasn’t been flooding the world with excessive amounts of self-indulgent product, and in fact we haven’t heard from him since Syntetisaattori Musiikkia Kuopiosta in 2016, but when he does make utterance there’s iron in his words.

  • Ed Pinsent