Tuesday, April 17, 2012
ssg special - Ukkonen
Ukkonen’s sound world is one that is both utterly local and locatable and unplaceable and enigmatic. On the one hand, what’s clearly audible is a synthesis, a techno axis, drawn high above the earth as an abstract line made of beats, melodies and harmonics between Detroit, Hamburg, and Turku. What it takes from all these three intertwined archives is emphatically *techno*. More, it’s techno made by an exceptionally good and careful listener. But Ukkonen also understands the right time and place for reverence. As well as close attention to and respect for the archives the music draws from, Ukkonen has also taken things in a thoroughly particular, definitely irregular, and even peculiar direction. In this sense it’s thoroughly a Finnish thing: what is normal, regular, or conventional about the music of Mika Vainio or Sasu Ripatti? But musical nationalism has its limits, and more than anything, I humbly submit that what Ukkonen has given us here is something incomparable. But I would also say that, as different as this is to Bee Mask, Panabrite or Pulse Emitter, when I keep trying to explain what I find commonly exciting here is the sense of space, a space that’s hard to place. Like theirs, Ukkonen’s is a kind of New Space Music. I don’t want to prejudice your ears by saying much more than that. Ssgs is very proud to be able to present this unique, exceptional set, which I strongly recommend that you listen to closely on headphones, or at high volume on a good stereo, or walking through Shibuya in a jetlagged daze, as I did a few days ago. In any case, a listening situation where you have the combination of attention and drift that can move with the unique flow of of the music here. Seriously, I feel like if ssgs had a coherent mission to present 'it', (probably we’ve had several semi-coherent ones over the years), then, well, we might have achieved it in this instance. What you have here is a bright, strange future of techno – who knows where it will form, and what it’s capable of becoming?
In Ukkonen's own words: "there is no real tracklist for this recording, as I was jamming most of it… The other mixes I've done have been concept ones, so for this I just kept it totally abstract, it's just about the sounds and rhythms and no messing about with anything else! It was done on my live setup which is mainly an obscene number of samples loaded onto a Roland SP-404SX and some kids' toy keyboards (which is where most of my pad sounds come from) - although for this special occasion I added one or two secret weapons..."
If you love Ukkonen's music, you should really catch up with the EPs, which I've talked about previously on the radio these past few months, and which are available from Rednetic and Uncharted Audio. The big upcoming news is the album, The Isolated Rhythms of Ukkonen, now due out in May. It's wonderful. Keep an eye on http://unchartedaudio.com/ for the final release date and details on buying the vinyl.
Okay, now to the wonderful mix...
ssg special - Ukkonen