TBR: 1st May
Fusing dub and electronica into a mineral substance, Vesa-Matti Kivioja explores the cultural value of stone. With four expertly crafted tracks, this noise-mason brings to life the traditions and majesty of the Earth's naturally occurring alchemical creations. Some people even use minerals and crystals in magical ceremony, others can be found carrying stones for luck or other forms of enchantment. Superstitions aside, the consensus can agree that naturally formed minerals behave in unique ways, not only physically and chemically but electronically too. Where Einstein meets Jung and the observer dreams of reality, who's to say what kinds of entanglement our distant crystal cousins have on our actuality? Produced in Vaasa, Finland, then mastered in Berlin, Mineral Waves by Vesa-Matti Kivioja takes us on a journey into a consciousness made of stone.
Organic beats with electronic and tribal elements merge together while interesting sounds explore the rhythmic horizon. Twangy strings spell a simple melody in time to one of the drums and atmospheric energy builds in the form of more distant swells of amplitude. Wavellite is slow moving, its epic topography builds depth and colour into glistening polished laminae. Breathy tones begin to wrap the piece in luminescent sheen while the rhythms gradually evolve and shift like striations in the sand. As a whole piece, it opens the EP with a smooth and relaxing energy which is crammed with minimalist intrigue.
For Corundum, sandy textures riddled with electronic blips makes a new perspective for us. Aluminium ore, often a source of rubies and sapphires, has been highly prized for millennia. It's about time someone made a piece of music to celebrate this gemmy rock. Another slow and paced number, droning sounds spin vortices in astral skies while homely synth pads march onward in staggered motions over rocks. Yearning for something, it's as if the track is looking around and scanning sections. Maybe it's that glow of Corundum in amongst the matrix. Gradual reciprocations push the mineral vein deeper, and as nuggets crumble away into buckets, the groove in the ground gets ever deeper.
Something a little more upbeat for the third number. Catchy drums with hand beats and claps among subtle snare create a backdrop of dancing rhythm. Atmospheric and deep resounding crashes of energy radiate from the mines while the regular and motivational percussion section illuminates the ceiling. A labyrinth of tunnels sprawl out underground, each one a destination for someone. The lonely life yet reliant on each other for life itself, digging for valuable minerals like Pyroxene is made into music with this offering to the god of iron.
Finally, Kosmochlor ends the mix with a truly ambient wind-down. Dusty background sounds create a fire-glow sensation which is pierced by resonant tubular taps. These slow moving reverberations in space plunge us into a dreamy doze through gloom and warmth. Simple yet effective, this repetitive meditation helps us to melt away the tension with interesting and easy on the ear sound experiments.
Mineral Waves by Vesa-Matti Kivioja is a wonderful sculpture of sound made to resemble the medium of stone itself.
Music on Ljudverket can be found on Bandcamp
They're also on Facebook
Interested in crystals and minerals? Read this online catalogue of crystal folklore.
Rowan Blair Colver for the Homunculus Media Group
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