Album Review

Vladislav Delay, ‘Vantaa’


Finnish electronic composer Sasu Ripatti’s many pseudonyms are really more like personae; Luomo, Uusitalo, Sistol, Conoco, and Vladislav Delay may be five fingers of the same hand, but they couldn’t be more distinct from each other - though, in this case, “distinct’’ might be the wrong word. Over the course of 10 albums, Ripatti hasn’t so much defined his sound as Vladislav Delay as he has diffused it into an ever-broadening cloud of possibilities. In 2000, Ripatti re-imagined the parameters of house music as Luomo, and the shifting tech-tonics of “Vocalcity’’ became something like a signature. “Vantaa’’ applies this approach to ambient ends - scattering vague melodies through hazy prisms and flinging stray rhythms across a vast melting grid. The tremulous “Henki’’ recalls the hyperslow thump-and-flick of 2005’s “Four Quarters.’’ “Lauma’’ is urgent, plodding, steely, and dark; “Luotasi’’ gently wavers, its sticky beat hanging in the back like a faint reminder of time. Ripatti’s restraint is still his strongest suit; he’s not so much leading the way as lighting it. (Out now) — MICHAEL BRODEUR

ESSENTIAL: “Luotasi’’