Ø + Gay Beast

[Sähkö, 2008]

The internet tells me "Ø" is pronounced "ohm", "Oleva" means "The Existing", and "Sähkö" means "Electricity".

Mika Vainio is the gentler, beat-producing half of Pan Sonic, and that's just what this solo project sounds like. Chilled-out atmospheric tones, and glitchy, dubby drum machine patterns, minus most of the industrial noise of Pan Sonic.

#6 ("Resistor") is a very repetitive piece that sounds a lot like Pan Sonic, #7 ("U-Bahn") features Kraftwerk-like cold, pulsing melody lines, #2 & #5 ("Conjured"?) are dubby industrial pieces, and #4 ("Frequency") is a short one reflecting the noisier side of Pan Sonic.

On the atmospheric side, the opening and closing tracks (#1 & #12) are very similar, thick textures -- very good. #11 is very thin and sparse, as is #9 (ironically titled "Mojave"), which is evocative of Burzum's cold atmospheric work . A lot of the atmospheres seem to be informed by the sonic texture and harmonies mapped out in Pink Floyd's "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun" (#3).

rhythmic: 6, 7, 2, 5, 4, 3 (Pink Floyd cover)
atmospheric: 1, 12, 11, 9

Gay Beast
Second Wave
[Skin Graft, 2009]

Angular, mathy no wave with very intelligible singing. Like Frank Zappa and Arab on Radar playing emo. Like Mike Patton singing for Hella. But sloppier than all that, and more gay. And recorded worse. The synth sounds and mathy music remind me of Nintendo. The vox are a bit off-putting to me, but they might take this music to a new level for differently-minded folks. There's some sax on here too.

recommended: 8 (instrumental), 5 (mostly inst., includes DEVO cover!), 6 (vox), 10 (short inst.), 1 (vox), 9 (vox)

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