”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 quarterinch
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.
Written and produced by Tuomo Väänänen in Finland 2020. Mastered and cut at Scape
Mastering, Berlin. [info sheet from distr.]