"An arbitrary succession of more or less irritating sounds"
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Monday, 18 July 2011

Tradition & reinvention


Striking that one of the musicians of the past 15 years whose work is most likely to endure for another 15 & beyond, Vladislav Delay, also feels a deep need to make immediate, almost disposable sounds - & insists on the inter-connectedness of the two. We can't have the textured depths of Delay or his stunning new(ish) quartet without the gleaming pulse of Luomo.

With a new album imminent in this friskiest of his many restless guises & participations (Uusitalo, Sistol, Moritz von Oswald Trio, Conoco, Bright People, The Only Copy, Kinovida, AGF/Delay, I hired a contract killer, The Dolls...), Sasu Ripatti talked to LMYE recently about tradition & reinvention.

"i push myself quite hard with what i'm working on and after that i feel quite empty and need to recharge myself by doing something quite different.
i also have quite an urge and interest to various types of music and i enjoy having it all. one at a time though."

He's currently lying fallow for a while, having followed up working as Luomo by moving to the other end of his spectrum. Last week he completed his twelfth Delay album (at LMYE's count) - & his first for Raster-Noton.

Ripatti is fairly dismissive of the bulk of new releases ("most new music can handle few times of listening and it's done, all said there is to say in a quick one"). He mostly listens to older jazz or reggae/dub - "also hiphop a lot".

He touches too on the differing dynamics of his quartet & MvOT - "it's very much a group thing whereas MVOT is Moritz's thing to big extent". While he has no plans to spawn further groups or even take on the odd remix, regrettably, he's open to following his collaborators von Oswald & Loderbauer into ReComposed/Re: ECM reconstruction territory - labels please note!



Do you see yourself as working in any kind of tradition (or traditions)?
not at all. i change my path quite constantly, my points of view changes, i get bored easily.
i might have background in jazz or percussion tradition but that all is long gone, and i certainly don't follow any tradition other than my own thing which i can't specify at all. or don't want to restrict it by analysis.

How would you characterise the ways in which your music has changed since you began recording?
i see it as a continuous path i'm on with peaks and valleys and whatnot.
main thing i'm happy about is that my music has changed during the years, otherwise i should not do it anymore; i really don't believe in repeating myself.
when i look at the changes i can see smaller and bigger cycles that do repeat but i think there's growth and progression in those cycles when they appear again and again.
i really do try to be conscious about what i do and try to pay attention to push things to new directions and not allowing myself to become comfortable with what or how i'm doing music.


How do you see your recording personas influencing each other? Which, if any, has the greatest influence on Luomo? Do you need Luomo in any way to be able to make VDQ or your other musics?
i do need one to make the other for sure.
the whole thing is that i push myself quite hard with what i'm working on and after that i feel quite empty and need to recharge myself by doing something quite different.
i also have quite an urge and interest to various types of music and i enjoy having it all. one at a time though.

How has the experience of playing in MvOT influenced what VDQ does (& how it does it), if at all?
influences are quite minor and subconscious because i play so different role in each group.
not meaning though that i'm a leader in VDQ except for managing and producing it.
when we make music live it's very much a group thing whereas MVOT is Moritz's thing to big extent although luckily i'm allowed lots of freedom in my part.



Do you expect to work in new groups in the future - either as leader or a player?
not thinking about it at least.
for sure as long as these two groups are active i won't expand more, it's really time consuming and sometimes exhausting to manage or run a group. two is definitely enough!

Do you make all of your solo music, including Luomo, in the same place & with the same tools?
same place, yes. mostly same tools as well but used in quite a different way.


Anyone you'd like to collaborate with? Or remix?
there are lots of interesting people i'd like to work with of course but it's too hard to make it happen when you are not commercially potential.
i don't have a wish list and i'm also happy to work with people i already work with.
remixing is something i don't want to be involved in much.

Can you see yourself making a Re: ECM or ReComposed? Whose music would you be interested in reshaping in a similar way (if anyone's)?
if someone offered me to work on some music i really like i'd love to do it.
ECM for sure if i could pick up the music. jazz, African, Jamaican, hiphop, i'd be happy with lots of stuff....

Who else do you listen to (for pleasure, for inspiration, for a change)? What are some of this year's crucial releases for you? What are some releases you couldn't/wouldn't be without?
i go for extreme range of music and have also periods where i stick to certain music for a long time. not so much any more but for example i listened only Frank Zappa for about two years when i was about 16-18. before that i only listened jazz from 50s and 60s. then was the dub period..
nowadays i mainly listen older jazz or reggae/dub for music pleasure.
i also entertain myself with hiphop a lot.
Kanye West's last album is the only one i really thought was a special one since a long while in any genre.
most new music can handle few times of listening and it's done, all said there is to say in a quick one.


Best thing anyone's said/written about your music? Worst?
i don't keep that info i guess as nothing comes to mind.
well, there was really stupid review of VDQ on the Wire which i thought was embarrasing for the magazine, pure ignorance and misunderstanding.
but i try to stay away from it all and just focus on doing what i think i should do.

What's next for you?
hm... i'm right now on vacation since yesterday when i finished new VladislavDelay album for Raster Noton release late this year.
i'm planning to spend some time in the studio next and reconfigure it and try out new things without aiming to finish anything.

Luomo - Plus (Exclusive Track Preview)

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