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Artist: Vladislav Delay
The Leaf Label
RRP: £11.99
8 431900 07226
Available 24 August 2009

Sasu Ripatti is Vladislav Delay, a Finnish composer who is considered a genuine musical maverick. His accomplishments include collaborations with a vast array of musicians and singers such as Craig Armstrong.

With a wide range of experience with record labels throughout his career, Ripatti has, for the last five years, released works on his own Huume label. Moving to The Leaf Label marks a new chapter for Ripatti as he can now take a new direction with more acoustic sound sources.

Tummaa is Ripatti’s first album under Vladislav Delay, which reflects his renewed interest in jazz and acoustic performance.

This album is said to have been inspired from Ripatti’s experience of living on a remote island in the Baltic Sea within the Arctic Circle. Tummaa means dark or darkness and he worked on this album during Kaamos, the time in Finland where it gets really dark from December to February. You only have a few hours of daylight per day during this time.

This is a very dark album and is not to my liking at all. I don’t hear that there is music in this; to me it is noise, lots of pulsating beats and bangs.

The piano that can be heard sounds quite eerie and I don’t hear any good beats through the most part of this album.

One track I will comment on is ‘Mustelmia’. This does have a strong beat and the woodwind instruments are prominent as are the strings of the violin. I think this is the one track on the album that comes close to music in my book.

I certainly wouldn’t want to listen to this album again. It gives me the creeps, especially, thinking that the darkest time of year inspires someone to write this. You hear about people going mad if they don’t see sunlight... maybe there is a little truth in this.

I found this a disturbing listen and one that sounds like the soundtrack from a low budget sci-fi horror movie. This is certainly from an over indulgent musician.


Helena Rea

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