Rakka

Vladislav Delay

Rakka

Vladislav Delay, aka Sasu Ripatti, was once one of electronic music’s most atmospheric producers, acclaimed for the heady, hazy textures of his ethereal dub techno and meandering ambient. (He also made equally heady house music as Luomo.) But in 2014, after nearly two decades making music, the Finnish producer’s output came to a stop. He spent much of the next six years hiking in the Arctic tundra; Rakka shows how the experience changed him. From its opening blast of white noise and ominous bed of synth pads, it sounds remarkably like what fighting one’s way through a blizzard feels like, bent forward into the wind. The rest of the album proceeds in similar fashion, as though buffeted by powerful gusts and battered by hard, scraping tones. Micro pulses become gargantuan forces: Loops of granular sound resemble the blast beats of black metal, and tiny pinprick details amass into whiteout proportions. The ghost of a distorted voice cries out from deep in the midst of “Rakkine”; like the last transmission of a dying radio, it only underscores the powerful sense of solitude here. In a lone reprieve, the drones of “Raakile” clear a space of luminous dark ambient, like the eye of the storm.

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