Review: The Abrasive Industrial Experimentation of Vladislav Delay’s ‘Rakka’

Vladislav Delay | Rakka | Cosmo Rhythmatic

Release Date: 27 February, 2020

Destruction is a form of creation, and often in stripping something of what it once was and building it anew is the journey we take to find the very core of how, and why – our approach to our creations from the beginning, why we’ve created them, what we’ve learned – and how we can evolve from starting anew.

For Finnish musician Sasu Ripatti – known under his renowned moniker Vladislav Delay – a self-imposed six year hiatus: a total detachment from what was his musical journey at the time, allowed for a steep learning curve; inspiration stemming from a landscape raw and bare-boned, sparse and indefinite to the naked eye. Following his 2014 release ‘VISA’, the artist took a step back in order to dive inward – leaving behind the complex business and social media chaos that has steadily grown into an integral, and often unhealthy, part of what it means to create music for a following. After feeling disillusioned with the impact this had on his craft – Ripatti moved forward, even selling his gear in the process, and going on an expedition into the wilderness – as far as to the Arctic Circle, with his wife and daughter.

In an interview with XLR8R, the artist explained:

At some point, and actually quite suddenly, I just thought Fuck this, I am not having any fun with the “Facebook Likes Music Industry.” It took me a few minutes to think about the idea and then I thought Ok, let’s do it. Let’s sell all the gear I have.

Drawing from his experience in the wilderness, Ripatti returns with ‘Rakka’ – forcefully clutching the roots of each texture – jagged, abrasive, raw – genuine – and fashioning them into detailed soundscapes that can easily bring to mind images of the physical terrains in which he navigated.

The title track ‘Rakka‘ opens with an anxious anticipation; ominous ambience swells in a nervous belly – a hushed, abrasive distortion stuttering in a foreboding chill. A distant, alien stream flows in the extraterrestrial foreground; electronic timbres growing steadily as the track segues into an intense crescendo of frantic static – the driven, abrasive energy reminiscent of harsh, percussive blasting present in genres such as black-metal overwhelms in an unrelenting struggle. Rough, rugged textures clash restlessly with one another, segueing into a brief moment of atmospheric calm, allowing a short, quick breath before returning to the dark, noisy dive in distortion; closing with a nervous atmosphere.

Rampa‘ manifests an industrial underworld; the uneasy nature of its greeting swarming with phantoms, the distant distortion of a nervous metallic drone studded with jittery static. A sound raw with uncertainty looms as heavy midnight clouds, dark and grim as the circle overhead – as the coarse fuzz of a pounding beat makes itself known; only to swirl into frenzy of mechanical timbres. Breaking away from the typical expectation of track structures is a definite allure to Ripatti’s style; as intricate ambient soundscapes combine with sharp, intense noise – doused in detailed, rasping textures – a controlled chaos stripping each timbre to the bone.

Stream & Purchase Rakka by Vladislav Delay
For more information follow Vladislav Delay on Bandcamp
Rating: 7.5 / 10

Feature Image: Vladislav Delay by Csaba Brindza