The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website


1 Richard Fontenoy , January 31st, 2018 00:11

On his debut solo album, Timo Kaukolampi goes deep down and far out.

As fond of drifting space-deep ambience as he is of pumping techno grooves, Timo Kaukolampi's début solo LP finds him hinting at some of the textures and tropes of K-X-P's ambitious History Of Techno EP as well as their own outré sense of onward forward motion.

1 is at times redolent of the sort of pulsating proto-electronica that Hawkwind would occasionally drop into the second side of an album in the late seventies as it is of the throbbing oscillatorial rhythms of not only K-X-P, but of fellow Finnish cosmic travellers Pan Sonic – whose late lamented Mika Vainio receives a dedication on 'Epiphyte (Requiem for Mika)'. But here it's all Kaukolampi's electronic machinations at work, and Timo is on a mission deep down and far out.

The five instrumentals that make up the album follow one from another in an unbroken rippling flow of heartwarming pad swells and wide-ranging abstract tones, It's only about a third of the way through 'Three Legged Giant Centipede' that the analogue techno kick pulse and arpeggiated thrum make their first insistent appearance. As the delayed hats pan across the stereo spectrum, rising polytextural keyboard waves criss-cross, coalescing into a deceptively simple warp and weft that draws the listener into its siren sway of ever-evolving patterns and heavy choral ambience.

While all the sounds here are familiar and comforting from that aforementioned catalogue of electronic music and more, Timo fits them all together with a wholly engaging sense of blissful purpose, though tinged with sombre, drifting melancholy and effulgent sadness as he remembers Vainio too. When present, that four-four beat might propel Kaukolampi restlessly onwards to exercise regime heartbeat, and a disco conga-time tap and tail that works along the vertical axis. On the horizontal plane, the delay effects spark recurving introductions to the shimmering wash of a synthesizer swarm or sequencer bassline that shakes the acid tropes into properly lysergic territory.

Timo is equally at home steering off course, drifting way out beyond into avant-garde territory of 'The Public Execution Of The Nodding Lotus Eater', consciously removing the beats in favour of evoking a starkly deracinated audio landscape populated with slowly undulating rhythms and apparently unresolved klang. When a synthetic wavetable voice drifts up slowly from the depths, its angelic arrival is at once beatific and slightly ominous among flooding bass tremors and meditative, crumbling percussion.

This album is an excellent opening entry into what will hopefully be a new series of releases from Kaukolampi, one which rewards returning visits to the places beyond the restrictions of both gravity and mundanity.

If you love our features, news and reviews, please support what we do with a one-off or regular donation. Year-on-year, our corporate advertising is down by around 90% - a figure that threatens to sink The Quietus. Hit this link to find out more and keep on Black Sky Thinking.