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Soundohm

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Mika Vainio

Mannerlaatta

Mannerlaatta (Tectonic Plate) is Mika Vainio’s incredible soundtrack for a “74 minute lettrist film made entirely without a camera” by Finnish film maker Mika Taanila; his 3rd following their previous collaborations, A Physical Ring (2002) and Return of the Atom (2015). The music was written very early on in the film’s two and a half year development, and subsequently held a strong sway over the rhythm of the film's editing and visual narration - which takes place as a series of black and white images made from photocopying various travel documents, which were later photgrammed onto 35mm reversal film in a darkroom, and overlaid with text by poet Harry Salmenniemi. As Vainio tends to use a set-up of homebuilt kit unchanged from his very earliest productions, each new release is effectively a subtle alteration/refinement of his brutalist but tactile process of creation. And, going by that timeline of events, we’d speculate that Mannerlaattawas conceived somewhere in the wake of his staggering Kilo LP and the much sweeter Konstellaatio side as Ø, which is roughly where its aesthetics also lie. The 50 minute score breaks down to 6 sections, each exploring the full frequency spectrum of his patented, greyscale tonal palette, largely swerving a fixed rhythmic meter to occupy a weightless, outta reach mid-ground that seduces us headlong into his chasmic designs and, we’d imagine, best suits the black and white film imagery (full disclosure; we haven’t seen it yet). Key to the recording’s appeal - as with most Vainio gear - is that peripheral sense of spatial dynamic and his unpredictable manipulation of amplitude; whether dangling us over abyssal subbass dimensions, needling with icy prongs, or occasionally alleviating the tension with teasing pads which evaporate back into the æther as though they were never there, ultimately leaving us rapt and at his mercy for the duration.

Details
Cat. number: iDEAL149
Year: 2016