*2022 remaster* Following up on reissues of the 2000 compilation »Multila« and 2001’s »Anima,« Sasu Ripatti has thoroughly revisited the classic »Whistleblower« for its first ever vinyl issue on the German Keplar label. Ripatti created entirely new mixes of previously unheard-of alternative versions of the tracks that first appeared on CD through his own Huume imprint in early 2007. He thus shines a new, different light on a record that was as much an expression of reaching a turning point in his life as it also showcased a new, more direct and perhaps more abrasive side of his Vladislav Delay project. »Whistleblower« was marked by the insertion of more noise and disruptive elements into Ripatti’s slowly moving take on intricate electronic music that heavily leaned on dub techniques. Fittingly for an album written at the threshold between one life and the other, »Whisteblower« seems at once melancholic and forward-looking in both tone and style.
»Whisteblower« was the follow-up record to 2005’s »The Four Quarters« and produced in the German capital. »I had quite a hard time in Berlin towards the end and I'm sure the track titles and the music reflect some of that uneasiness,« Ripatti says 15 years later. Changes in his personal life had a profound impact on him when making the record. The fifth track, »Lumi,« was dedicated to his daughter who was born shortly after the album was finished. »I had to reconsider what my life had been,« he recalls this watershed moment in his biography. Having already previously embraced a sober lifestyle—hinted at with the last piece’s title, »Recovery IDea«—Ripatti started questioning his life choices more thoroughly. This is also expressed in »He Lived Deeply,« a track inspired by Miles Davis’s love for Duke Ellington whose title can be read as an implicit question that Ripatti nowadays paraphrases thusly: »Had I been living fully, or fully not living?«
The seven tracks also marked a musical turning point in Ripatti’s work as a producer, not only because it was the last one for which he primarily used analogue and vintage equipment. They are also more straightforward on a music level, more demanding and at times more concerned with subtle rhythms than with the thick textures that were so integral to his earlier work. »Whisteblower« represented the first step in a process of focusing less on sonic abstraction and more on direct (self-)expression. While Ripatti admits that he found working on the album difficult back then, he also points out that he was surprised to hear how »gentle and peaceful« it sounded when he started revisiting the original files he used as a basis for these newly mixed versions. »It probably proves how much more comfortable I had become with sound.«