Sasu Ripatti a.k.a. Luomo a.k.a. Vladislav Delay is well known these days for his intricate, forward looking dub-inspired techno sound. Vladislav Delay is where he retires when all the strung-out energy of his more famous alter-egos drains away. These compositions, though they occasionally bubble up into frank downtempo electronica, largely exist in the murky glitch of late-night buses, desolate industrial yards, and overcast skies. Multila, originally released in 2000, collects a number of 12-inch vinyl releases that adequately presage the star Delay (or Luomo) was set to become. So it never really feels like a complete work, but no matter. The expansive tracks each calmly establish their own well-defined atmospheric space. The trouble with all these ambient compositions, of course, tends to come down to direction, and with song lengths reaching to a leisurely 22 minutes, you should know what to expect. Some of the longer tracks, like “Huone”, feel a little like pastiche, without a strong sense of thematic coalescence running through. But as always in Delay’s work, small, barely identifiable sounds betray the complexity of thought invested into each layered composition. “Karrha”, in particular, is impressive: constantly threatening explosion, it never rises above a croaking frog-like percussion. Small crescendos of synths and thousands of other blending elements gracefully meld into a seamless, all-encompassing whole. They still seem to say, I have arrived.
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