insert – luomo

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funny thing, that – something of the last post echoed with me – the part about times gone by. it reminded me of listening to luomo’s vocalcity.

when i first heard the record, i was just…it was a time when house was boring and the only escape was disco-tech (techno with disco-samples) (i guess somewhere in the future i will have to make a post about gene farris…) – music that still evoked the feeling of these parties when one had many gin-tonics, laughed a lot, basically misbehaved and danced with other sexy men and beautiful women and wild drag queens and very macho drag kings to new, exciting and uplifting music.

but it was all a pastiche in the sense of frederic jameson: the samples were a copy of an original disco record – the music was a copy without original (=pastiche). meaning it is a reference to something that never existed.

of course i am into that kind of music – i like to imagine that i have lived in the seventies as a gay clone and would have done all the things gay clones did at the time… grin… that this past as imagined by me never existed i am well aware of – but i do fall for music that gives me this faux nostalgic feeling. and it is also something the photographs of youssef nabil do -reminding me of a past i lived through in my fantasies…

so back to the beginning. house music was boring – and then my record dealer gave me this record to have a listen to!

and whooaah – it was new, exciting, never heard before – and at the same time drenched in nostalgia, somewhat very mature – whoaahh. even the artwork for the record: a shattered mirrorball was just so…fitting.

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doing some research i realized: i know the artist behind it – but under the name of vladislav delay, through experimental, rather ambient stuff on the mille plateaux label (and yes, there will be certainly a post about mille plateaux and mille plateaux, too). and to my shock and disbelief i realized that this was a young artist – so i again mixed up maturity with age…

so for me this record is an alltime favourite, and the artist, sasu ripatti, publishing music under vladislav delay (the more ambient stuff), luomo (the more housy stuff), and uusitalo (the stuff with beats that isn’t house) and some more monikers one of my favourites. interesting is that he has his sonic universe – sounds from one project get used in the others in a different context. so it is less the hunt for new and exciting sounds then a certain big idea with a personal sonic universe – yeah, it smells of gesamtkunstwerk, somehow….

vocalcity was new especially for its really crisp production, while having, since the music is so multilayered (put your headphones on) – voices shine up and are sometimes in the foreground, then again in the background – a hazy, nearly dubby feel to it – swimming underwater, but in really clear water. the record was actually a success and is still seen as one of the important house records.

luomo himself though talked of this record as unsatisfactory – i think even as a failure. i disagree – but hearing the follow up to vocalcity, the present lover it really seems that luomo’s aim was less to produce underwater music – he emerged from the water to sit in the sun on the side of the pool with his feet dangling…

so the present lover has less a nostalgic feeling to it – and its reception has been somewhat mixed – especially with people that liked vocalcity. sometimes i suspect the explanation is quite easy: luomo just stopped smoking weed – and some of his listeners still did… (i have to add that the present lover is a fantastic record to have sex to. i know J likes his drumming while sex – but then we might have very different sex…)

what else is there to say? well, get it here (link expired) and listen to it.
then i highly recommend more or less everything he published under his various names – the more you listen, the more you realize that this artist does have an artistic vision. which one i’m not quite sure, but it is fun to follow him exploring his universe… and there is a lot to discover – the man seems to work all the time – he is releasing one record after the other and also tours the world with his live performances. but i do especially recommend the four quarters by vladislav delay. if i’m not mistaken it was adorno who once said (i’m paraphrasing, allright…) that music can show us through the way it relates to other music (sound in general?) how we could relate as persons to the world. i’m still pondering this saying and listening to the four quarters somehow makes this statemnt ring true – music for new ways of living?
how do you get his music? the easiest is via his website of his own record label: www.huumerecordings.com, where you can download for very little money nearly his whole discographie in high quality digital form.

you also find luomo on myspace – and there is a website dedicated only to the work of luomo, where you can listen to his latest release paper tigers. speaking of paper tigers: there is a very interesting article about this record and the work of luomo in general.

and since i’m such a nice person i digged in my vault and came up with a recording of a live performance by luomo in 2004 in detroit. get it here (link expired).

One Response to “insert – luomo”

  1. Tony Says:

    Excellent post. VocalCity and The Four Quarters are both masterpieces in my opinion. Looking forward to hearing what Mr. Delay has in store for “Kupio”.

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