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Album Review

Of Mika Vainio's rapidly expanding catalog, Onko is one of his broader, more varied works. While most of Vainio's recordings are concerned, to greater or lesser degree, with the musical implications of residual electronics — static, electronic noise, digital artifacts, and so on — Onko opens out Vainio's treatment of these elements onto wider compositional terrain, building a sense of movement and (admittedly monochromatic) form from the most sparing of features. Though the first half of Onko resembles other of Vainio's almost artless experiments in discreet electronics, the latter segment of the title track and the concluding "Viher" focus in on microcosmic melodies and structural dynamics typically absent from Vainio's tracks, numbering them among his most listenable and engaging to date.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Sometimes known as Ø, Mika Vainio is the co-founder of Finnish techno duo Pan Sonic (known as Panasonic until 1998), whose innovative brand of blistering rhythmic noise and uncompromising minimalism transformed them into one of the most popular exports from the Northern European techno underground. Unlike Pan Sonic's harder, comparatively more dancefloor-oriented gear, however, Vainio's Ø work tends more toward the ambient and experimental, wedding sparse machine noises with shifting rhythms, stubbornly...
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Onko, Mika Vainio
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