TIP OF THE WEEK 49/23: Kartio - Liskoaivo CS (Nekorekords)

TIP OF THE WEEK 49/23: Kartio - Liskoaivo CS (Nekorekords)

Kartio is an electroacoustic 'insekt elektronix' project by Pentti Dassum (Mr. Umpio). I've had the pleasure of releasing two tapes by Kartio on Satatuhatta, and the third one, called 'Liskoaivo,' came out last week on Pentti's own Nekorekords label: https://umpio.bandcamp.com/album/liskoaivo

The tape is limited to 100 copies and is duplicated onto recycled tapes. The tapes are spray-painted, decorated with a Kartio sticker, and packaged in a transparent orange Norelco case. Each tape is unique. As Pentti has an ear for sounds, he also has an eye for beautiful graphics and a nice layout


Modular synth music is pretty challenging for me, as I'm not usually very fond of how it sounds, and it tends to be musically dull (in noise sense). However, there are always one or two exceptions, and Kartio is definitely one of them. I believe this is how modular synth/eurorack music should be done. It sounds organic, tells a story, and possesses depth. The sounds are interesting, not just plug and 'play'; rather, they are used as instruments in a larger musical narrative. The overall sound has a nice analog feel, likely due to the use of cassette tape as the recording medium in the production process.

The name of the tape in English is 'Lizard Brain,' and that primordial, unconscious feeling is present, as it's well put in the label description: "...As sophisticated as oscillators and modular synthesis might be, at the core lies an unexplainable urge to get away from unease, even though it might be totally unconscious: we arrive at an uncharted and mysterious point of sonic landscapes that remind us of primordial states we forgot to remember."

This is very exciting music, and the tape is highly recommended, especially for fans of the more experimental spectrum of music. It's not harsh noise but offers a very evocative and deep listening experience, including some noisier passages.


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