BUBBLE, GURGLE, BOBBLE: As silly as this may sound, biography is just another way of holding us back from the site (and sight) of actual truth. Its use value, along with that of anecdote, is minimal when dealing with those whose mystery is central to what they do and who they are; the Romantic is never satisfied with the Actual. Yes, of course but we're not all well-versed and well-fed, so it's incumbent upon those who do know to tell those who don't, else no one will improve, and no one will learn. It's one of the key reasons for reissue...
Luomo is the techno alias of ambient artist Vladislav Delay (whose album The Four Quarters, released this year again on Huume, is tender and brilliant). His real birth name is Sasu Ripatti (how many guys with three cool names are there on your street? Yeah) and he was born in Finland. In 2000 he released a series of dub-washed house EPs (Livingston, Native, & Carter) as Luomo. In between Native and Carter, however, he released a little globe of sadness and seduction, a triple-LP handjob from God called Vocalcity.
As with 2003's The Present Lover, Vocalcity's cover announces its intent
and ability from the start (except what's with the hyenas on the back?): a beautiful,
aqueous photograph of the colors of memory with, depending on yr outlook, its
warm red limn edging out into the cold or the cover's deep blue regret creeping
back inside to sanctity of the dance floor... Taken from the sleeve and placed
on a record player, Vocalcity delivers, in mumbles and sexy suggestion,
limned regret and phone-call ambivalence: bubbling slinky soul firing ice arrows
Full-disclosure & ashamed uh boast?: I owned this album since it was originally
released on Force Tracks in 2000, but it wasn't until 2005 that I actually listened
to any of its tracks that weren't "Tessio." Even listening through the album
now, it's difficult not to just skip to it (put it on, listen, dive, swim, swim)
even though each time I listen I can't but suffer for it: "For me, it didn't
go wrong; we just made another song" over sad-end sci-soul synth and echoes of "We
can make it," sampled from the feedback chamber of your bitter experience. From
this distance and at a squint, in 2005 at my desk, it reveals itself as the XY
chromosome in Chelonis R Jones' "I Don't Know" (lyric: "It's when I asked if
our love was gone/ You just stood there with a glass, saying... I don't know".)
Something of a labored pregnancy, if you consider that Heiko Voss' dream-veneer
didn't supply the XX until 2003, but that's how influence works... over time
and through metaphor...
"I like when it's living," Luomo said when he talked with Dusted in 2004. You can hear it here: in the pneumatic flutter of "Market," its looped indecision; or in the burst daydream center of "Class"; or burbling in the gurgle of "Synkro"'s rain-water pulse... And at the center of it all, "Tessio," so wispy it's barely there, yet so plush and bouncy, emotion so full it's barely legal, yet so ubiquitous and easily identifiable we must live some lives or read some books: its heartstring tug toward perfection is the album's nucleus creative charm writ musical and unleashed on the world, to loose pants and lock lips.