After the exceptional first volume of ‘Rakka’, Vladislav Delay is taken by the wanderlust again for a ravishing 2nd album of elemental electronics inspired by the Finnish wilderness. RIYL Shackleton, Rian Treanor...
Where 2020’s ‘Rakka’ represented some of Sasu Ripatti aka Vladislav Delay’s most intensely noisy textures and rhythmic complexity, as inspired by walks in his native Finnish wilderness, his follow-up further draws on and refines that experience in a beautifully brutalist bouquet of brambling distortion and tempestuous pulses that speak to the chaotic power of nature’s ecological interdependence. In the process ‘Rakka II’ fulminates Delay’s reactive sound even closer to the styles of Shapednoise, but still distinguished by his signature, freehanded style of percussive tumult that reaches beyond techno and club music into an ecstatic, holistic hybrid of power ambient, black metal, avant-dub, free jazz, and extreme dance musicks.
While still breathlessly busy and densely overgrown, ‘Rakka II’ is intended as the romantic answer to the more hostile first volume. Its seven parts balance a sense of febrile passion with hyper-disciplined logic in more explicitly emotive, optimistic gestures that emerge from its atonal murk and convulsive structures. Boundaries of discord and harmony are smudged almost into the red, but rendered with the spatial definition that become a hallmark of Delay’s best work for over 20 years, but never heard quite so wild and lushly semi-conscious as on cuts such as the soaring and collapsing ‘Raato’, or the craggy might of ‘Raaha’, and the heart-in-mouth headiness of ‘Rapaa.’