I-LP-O IN DUB Communist Dub

[Editions Mego; 2015]

Styles: Jamaican Dub, Noise, Industrial, Sonic Warfare
Others: Pansonic, Porter Ricks, Vatican Shadow, Thought Broadcast

To begin, Pansonic member Ilpo Väisänen’s I-LP-O IN DUB project is essentially, as the press notes state, a “statement against technocracy and the erosion of human community,” utilizing Jamaican dub and ska as a “strategy as opposed to genre — the precise manipulation of sound and the removal of all extraneous material to create a disorientating landscape of austere spaces.”

I-LP-O IN DUB’s clinical gestation of social/environmental critique through sound is reminiscent of Henri Lefebvre’s quite audacious and epically precise book, Critique of Everyday Life. In a particularly poignant portion of the book, Lefebvre writes, “Rational criticism, when carried through to its logical conclusion, will deal not only with ‘Pure Reason’ but also with life in all its impurity. From an intellectual heaven where the ghosts of former gods battle on, critical thought will descend into everyday life. Criticism of ideas will not be abandoned, far from it: taken up on another level, it will become deeper, since it will have become criticism of men and actions.”

The minimalism with which Ilpo conjures and churns the sonic particles present is seemingly an act of defiance against the state of his surroundings. Dub music, and especially minimalism, is about microbes in contained spaces exfoliating and growing in spite of itself. This is ecology in action.

The general formula for each track on Communist Dub is an exercise in expansion through repetitive progressions and eventual quality transgressions. Cluttered drum patterns bounce off of blunt kicks, fractured dub stabs hang back filling in the space in inverted ways. Very much like the descriptions from famous texts on dub music by Michael Veal and Kode9’s “Sonic Warfare,” Ilpo works toward dromoscopic relations emparted. In other words, the blurring of the distinctions between object and perception is a tornadic weapon for Ilpo, as he wrestles with both sound and context to develop hypertextual progeny from his own onto-spatial stance. The very act is metabolic: he is hypersculpting viral objects to introduce into the system. Dub music, when combined with the complex of the laptop, becomes a music of warfare aimed at total annihilation and total rebirth through mimesis and infection.

There’s a particularly sublimated occurrence in the record’s closer “Bengazi,” in which Ilpo fully metabolizes dub’s origins, future, and appropriations to create a collaged, gauzy blast of digi-spatial violence. Emerging into a space compromised by the brutality of digital debris and heavyweight snare flams, a sample of “Sweet Emotion” arises with an air of irony, a devastatingly eschatological wink.

None of this is to say that the work at present is particularly heady, especially to the point of being devoid of the context at which it hopes to assault. If anything, it builds from histographical understandings of the mode in which Ilpo has chosen to practice. The eschaton is rendered through the mimicking of a microclimatic sonic zone, imparted with the unfortunate coverage of impending doom and natural expiration.

But in this is a Yeats-esque hope for a rise in the form of a second coming. Hope here is in the reformation of present conditions into unfamiliar territories that leave us, the human enactors, shredded and consumed: the ultimate beauty of the anthrobscene’s total push towards rhizomatic totality, wholeness in the move.

Links: Editions Mego

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