Vladislav Delay, On the Bright Side
Techno as only he could conceive it
In 2000, Finnish producer Sasu Ripatti (aka Vladislav Delay) threw a wrench into the world of techno with his sublime, genre-defining Vocalcity (recorded under Ripatti's Luomo alias). The loose-limbed, sexy swish of microhouse — as that genre became known — is decidedly absent from the club-friendly On the Bright Side. In fact OTBS is radically different from anything Ripatti has produced to date, notably tracks he released as Sistol in '99. So it's curious why he's resurrected his original nom de plume for this album — eight brand-new tracks equally indebted to the bleak bleep soundscapes of Richard D. James and LFO as to rigidly meted basslines from Detroit.
But as OTBS progresses, it becomes evident that this is techno as only Ripatti could conceive it. It takes time for these songs to gestate, and not all of it is pretty to behold, but it is nonetheless a fascinating journey to the heart of Ripatti's darkness. "(Permission to) Avalanche" takes five-and-a-half minutes to reveal the hook, syncopated synth stabs that would not be out of place on a Model 500 record. On the excellent "Contaminate Her," a thudding bassline is dressed up in analog burbles of almost-melody that suddenly explode with handclaps that deliberately miss their mark — a dancefloor banger that strays outside the lines of convention. And so to Ripatti: In a world where many albums seemingly roll off of a conveyor belt and into a Wal-Mart near you, the skinny Fin proves again he is a true techno artisan.