You already know what to expect if you've come this far. Or perhaps you don't... Vakio was my introduction to the world of Panasonic/Pan Sonic and minimalist electronica, and at the time I had no idea of the possibile wealth of depth of sounds that on the surface seemed so - well, minimal. Think of a time when you knew something was missing from your mantelpiece. Even though you've seen it every day for years, you still can't work out what's missing. Created by the Finnish genius of Mika Vainio and Ilpo Väisänen, Vakio is one of the pair's earlier outings. There is no clever programming or sampling used here. Bumps, pops, ticks, clicks, tones and drones. You couldn't really say that this is 'music' but to simply call it 'sound' or 'noise' is a gross injustice. Turn it up and turn down the lights, sit back and allow yourself to be taken on a journey. A continually morphing landscape of analogue generated sounds. The CD undulates from the initially monotonous drone of Alku, over peaks of unnerving beats and clicks with valleys of emptiness far, far below. While it doesn't carry any of the heavy aural assaults offered by some of Vainio's solo works, or indeed the underlying cutesy cheeriness of Väisänen's efforts, as an introduction to the genre Vakio is as starkly welcoming as any other.
Experimentalish minimal techno/trance/industrial. Pure, almost tribal, nuanced rhythms cleverly utilising oscillators and other scientific instruments without resorting to standard synths/samples/computers. I find the album(s) pleasingly conceptual. Later albums incorporate a more (jarring) metallic sound. For variety, I recommend 'Kesto' (CD4 is extraordinary).