This is Mika Vainio's 4th solo album for Touch, after Onko [Touch # TO:34, 1997], Kajo [Touch # TO:43, 2000] and In The Land Of The Blind, One-Eyed Is King [Touch # TO:54, 2003].
He is, of course, part of Pan Sonic with Ilpo Väisänen, and also records solo as Ø. ReviewsOther Music (USA): As half of the venerable Pan Sonic, Mika Vainio crafts bold soundscapes with uncompromising vision.
On his Touch label releases, Vainio appears to strike out in fearless departures from the familiar, and he does so to our benefit. With many recordings in/as Pan Sonic, Endless, O, and Philus, it's under his own name that Vainio is a true pioneer. Isolating sine waves and oscillating drones in sparse dissemination, he displaces the listener and challenges one with his tactile impressions.
Spatially, Black Telephone Matter is akin to AMM, digitally reminiscent of Keith Fullerton Whitman, and sensually familiar to Christian Fennesz. Imagine the bleaker moments of micro sounds in Fennesz's Black Sea, and piece them around longer compositions with extremely streamlined and efficient functions. With an impact that is ultimately jarring, closely listening to this album opens up its aural possibilities. Notes take on vibrant undulation, songs singe in dark and drowning ambience, and the breadth of the album reaches far beyond immediate responses.
Black Telephone Matter plays like a private instillation of soundscapes in your mind. As far as the tenuous genre of modern sound art is concerned, this is music to my ears. [BCa]
Boomkat (UK): Veteran Finnish electronics maestro and one of the most fascinating producers of our times, Mika Vainio returns to the Touch label, the recent home of some of his most uncompromsing work. Last years 'Oleva' and the preceding Pan Sonic album remain examples of the finest electronic albums of the last few years, but they were surely also some of his most accessible. For 'Black.......