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Tuomo Väänänen - Topics (Ljudverket)


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”Topics” is a new album by Ljudverket co-founder Tuomo Väänänen. It explores the styles of dub and dub techno on six tracks, which range from droning soundscapes to more rhythmic affairs which could even work on a dance floor. True to label’s ethos, the production is understated and pays attention to fine details.

A-side opener ”Contain” is built around a single modular synth patch, which is processed with various types of distortion, and also by feeding the signal back to itself. ”Market” has busy rhythmic patterns which are contrasted with a pad-like sound, which was found on an old quarter-inch tape, and further processed with the well-known Clouds Eurorack module. ”Enclose” has chords from Helsinki City Library’s Moog One, which must be one of the most democratic synths on planet Earth: the studio where it is housed could be booked by anyone, for free.

Side B starts with ”Garden”. It’s aleatoric melody was composed with a set of vintage Dungeons & Dragons polyhedral dice, while the background atmosphere is a recording of crickets and grasshoppers. ”Strategy” is a simple techno track with 4/4 beat, a first in Tuomo’s discography. The last track on the album, ”Project”, features another out-of-studio sound source, a sauna stove at Tuomo’s family summer cottage, which is gently beaten with a piece of firewood and then transformed to chords with Ableton Live’s resonator effect.

All in all, this is a fine new chapter to Ljudverket’s story.

Check out the Ljudverket back catalogue as well, if you're not familiar with it.

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