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Ripatti - Fun Is Not a Straight Line Music Album Reviews

Ripatti - Fun Is Not a Straight Line Music Album Reviews
Sasu Ripatti—aka Vladislav Delay and Luomo—returns to footwork with his first album-length attempt at the form, translating the genre’s fast-paced syncopations into a harsh, elemental blast.

The last time Sasu Ripatti was making footwork, so was everybody else. When Ripatti01 EP came out, in September 2013, Bangs & Works was still rearranging people’s heads: Producers like Addison Groove and Machinedrum were fusing the hyper-regional Chicago-house mutation with more internationally established electronic dance styles; young guns like Slava and Thug Entrancer were finding arty uses for its arrhythmic kicks and fearsome snares; and all the while, the genre’s founding fathers were on a roll. Ripatti’s early EPs under his last name weren’t bad, but they felt more like the Vladislav Delay/Luomo guy trying his hand at footwork than an expansion of the conversation. He was still trying things out.
Fun Is Not a Straight Line is Ripatti’s first full-length of footwork music, and it’s a canny time in his career to return to this project. After a short run of Ripatti EPs and a solid Vladislav Delay album, 2014’s Visa, the Finnish electronic musician more or less dipped out for six years, selling his hardware before returning with a new, more violent approach on last year’s Rakka and its sequel from this year. The individual elements of Ripatti’s music have always seemed suspended in midair—drums without a parent rhythm, errant flecks of dub bass, chords lost in space. But there was a heft to Rakka that defied physics; the sounds he used seemed too heavy to be so indifferent towards gravity. As luck would have it, that also describes a lot of the best footwork productions.

Listening to footwork as a non-dancer can feel like standing in a hurricane. On Fun Is Not a Straight Line, Ripatti is the hurricane, lifting errant sounds into his vortex with little regard for where they fall. The polyrhythms on tracks like “everyday” and “movathat” become so dense that the 160-bpm grounding of footwork becomes buried and the music approaches Meshuggah levels of rhythmic convolution. The snares are sharp enough to draw blood, but they adhere to no grid, and the kick drum is subsumed into a blur of toms and machine-gun rat-tat-tats. Pads blow coolly but offer little shelter from the sensory onslaught. One of Ripatti’s strengths is the way his music seems assembled by chance rather than produced, and that’s as true of Fun Is Not a Straight Line as it is of his more abstract work, like Entain or Whistleblower.

The one constant here is the rap samples that form the backbone of almost every track. He’s built up a whole library of them, some easy to spot (Rick Ross’s “Hustlin’,” Ty Dolla $ign’s “Drop That Kitty”), most clipped into unrecognizable bursts. Sometimes, like on “flowers” and “wants interlude,” these samples are melodic enough to allow a flash of color to enliven the album’s monochrome palette. But for the most part, Fun Is Not a Straight Line is a harsh, elemental blast, only marginally less relentless than the Rakka albums, its lean 39-minute length the only thing keeping it from overloading the listener. Both the name of the album and the lowercase, noncommittal-sounding track titles (“motherfuckyou,” “videophonekitty”) suggest this is an album he made for himself more than an auteurist statement. But what we get in turn is a little more challenging than “fun”: a cleansing trial, perhaps, something more like cryotherapy than a night at the club.

Ripatti has had a long career that includes high-water marks in both vocal house (Vocalcity, as Luomo) and ambient dub (Multila, as Vladislav Delay). Like Rakka, Fun Is Not a Straight Line comes across as a rebuke to fans who want sequels to those early achievements. A Bandcamp statement claims Ripatti found himself “frustrated by the inflexibility of the 4/4 house idiom,” which he hasn’t really worked in since Luomo’s Plus in 2011. He might also be frustrated by the albatross of Vocalcity, which he made more than 20 years ago and has largely disavowed. Vocalcity sounds as great now as it ever did, and the road to this new record is dotted with gems. But between Fun Is Not a Straight Line and the Rakka albums, it’s clear he’s in the middle of a white-hot burst of inspiration that’s not to be missed.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Ripatti - Fun Is Not a Straight Line Music Album Reviews Ripatti - Fun Is Not a Straight Line Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Wednesday, July 21, 2021 Rating: 5

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