Vladislav Delay - Anima 2xLP


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Label: Keplar

2001's Anima was the third album released by Sasu Ripatti under his Vladislav Delay moniker and marked a turning point in the stylistic development of the prolific producer. Clocking in at roughly 62 minutes, the single piece draws on dub aesthetics while working with Musique concrète-like methods through the liberal use of samples to create a dreamlike logic. Muffled voices, lush chords, subtle rhythms and indefinable sound events are not so much integrated into a composition with a predetermined outcome but rather engage with each other freely in a constant sonic flow, forming constellations in one moment before moving on to connect with other elements in the next one. Anima marked the first time Ripatti was using a DAW in his working process, creating a piece constantly in motion that subtly evolves over time. This vinyl reissue on the German Keplar label follows up on the 20th anniversary edition of 2000's Multila and will be complemented by a ten-minute long version of the original piece, previously only available on the CD version released by the artist on his own Huume label in 2008.

After the release of his Ele and Entain albums in 1999 and 2000, respectively, Ripatti took the 1998 independent movie Hurlyburly as a conceptual starting point to experiment with different gear and production methods. "Until then I had worked with an old MSQ-700 MIDI sequencer and an Ensonic EPS16 sampler/sequencer that had one or two MB of sampling memory and mixed the music live on a Mackie, which was very limiting arrangement-wise," says Ripatti. Loading a slightly shortened version of the film into his DAW however allowed him to play along to it with the DrumKAT MIDI controller, triggering and playing all the sounds that can be heard on Anima while also contributing synths, bass and other sounds during repeated playthroughs before mixing a total of six stereo tracks together. "This way, after I had edited out most of the few parts that had music in them, I was in the movie; almost like an extra character playing music," explains Ripatti. "This was certainly the most organic way in which I have ever made music, and I have never again approached another record like this."

While Anima sounded like an unusual Vladislav Delay record at the time of its release, it also prefigured many of the developments Ripatti would go through in the course of his long career. Combining visceral immediacy with a sense of abstraction, it is far more than a mere missing link in his discography but rather a conceptually and musically outstanding piece of work that remains as engaging as it was 21 years ago.