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Mika Vainio Black Telephone of Matter

If we are to believe Lucia Dlugoszewski's maxim that the "first concern of all music... is to shatter the indifference of hearing," then Finnish sound-sculptor Vainio's fourth solo album can be considered as exemplary. Throughout his latest effort, Vainio shocks and surprises, juxtaposing near-silences with gauzy walls of noise, almost ultrasonic frequencies with disorienting phase attacks. Lightning-fast cuts between different recorded materials combine with dramatic builds, as is most evident on the album's longest (and most beautiful) piece, "Bury a Horse's Head," and the overall effect is one that forces the listener out of passive hearing and into deep listening. Though Vainio's Pan Sonic minimal techno collaboration is infinitely more accessible than his solo releases, the focus of both remains the same: jarring the aural senses into action through unexpected sonic wizardry.

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