My first introduction to Pan Sonic was at an exihibition in NYC , it was my first visit to the Guggenheim and I was architecturally impressed.
Tucked away in a dark room was an audio-visual exhibit by Pierre Huyghe called Les Grands Ensembles. It was loud and the space between was overwhelming, I was hypnotised and watched the piece three times in succession.
Sonically, I failed to realise how much this piece of music had affected me. However, for some reason I didn't utilise what information I had, to try and find out who had composed it ( I may not even had possessed a computer at this point)......retrospectively, there may have been a subconcious awareness of Pan Sonic as later on that year I did purchase Kesto whilst on holiday in France (groovy record shop where I also managed to get hold of DAF's Funfzehn Neue DAF Lieder album.....what a great little extreme musical purchase??)
I had read a review that got my attention, but being naive of Pan Sonic I stupidly played Rahina without checking the volume knob and really did scare the shit out of myself...quite seriously to the extent that it took a long time for me to return to listening to the rest....I really don't know what else was distracting me at the time......no doubt the excitement of a Neue DAF album.
I did get there eventually, but only by a chance purchase of Aaltopiiri
Pan Sonic were fascinated with how sonic waves affected the brain, they used the brain waves produced whilst listening to Motolab 3 as artwork for the album...thewaves came from Icelandic Electronic Composer, Magnús Blöndal Jóhannsson , bring it forward about 10 years and Vainio was involved with the fantastic Novi Sad NeuroPlanets, where various artists used differing sound sources with stunning affect...Vainio uses Decametric noise and radio storm samples from Jupiter mixed with Neuro-imaging from bipolar children.
Pan Sonic/Mika Vainio has the ability to piss on My Bloody Valentine, the Marychain and Motorhead from such a great height, with such power and devastating effect....but the beauty is maintained in the space of quieter pieces....to the point of being terrifying.
Frequencies, resonance, detuned, tuned, retuned utilising ground earth to destable and interfere sonic and perceived electrical .
"For the last seven years, at the Metropolitan Police forensic lab in south London, audio specialists have been continuously recording the sound of mains electricity." Apparently Warp have given them a five-album deal; they'll be going into the studio next year with Pan:Sonic's Mika Vainio producing."
“My favourite frequency is 50 Hz – the frequency of the electric grid = ground noise.” Vainio 9/7/13 Factmag
I had the "pleasure" of seeing Mika Vainio live at Heaven the week that Kilo was released. I had been warned that the sound system at Heaven was powerful and not knowing what damage Vainio was going to inflict, I instinctively took attenuators to maintain some sense of hearing post gig. A breathtaking experience...literally, the whole audience being pushed back by soundwaves, vitreous humor resonating with the 50hz sonic assault,...an addictive sense of potential destruction. Ironically what frequencies that got through the attenuators left micro numb spots which left me slightly down on the upper khz for about a week.
The same week I had major structural works going on in my apartment block, it was like Test Department meets Einsturzende up here, so I took the opportunity to try to recreate the sonic destruction of Wreck on my sound system whilst masonary drills would distract the other residents preventing a noise abatement notice...yeah, my valve amp held up and anything glass was on the verge of cracking up......a pointless exercise really, as Vainio states, his work is best experienced live as your average domestic hi fi wouldn't allow you to hear the majority of sub and hyper sonics in his work.....headphones?? even if you're Hi Res, you're not going to get it......
But for a band or artist who once spent 10 hours in a garage exposed to 13hz at 125db and drove round the east end of London in an armoured car using a 5000W riot dispersal sound system, Vainio's use of silence is his most important weapon. Silence is Sexy, both Vainio and Einsturzende Neubauten know this. 2013's Konstellaatio as ø produced an album of such cosmic peacefulness and beauty, that this album helped me get through probably one of the most emotional traumas of my life.
Now, it's been a while since Pan Sonic performed as a duo, although they seem to be getting awards for music being used in films. Both Mika Vainio and Ilpo Vaisanen are prolific in their solo works, although Vainio seems to overshadow Vaisanen, unfairly so. Ofcourse there are similarities in their work. They both collaborate with others...., they are always fond of collaboration, even if it was a niche in Blast First theory...come on now......how about Vanio/Valsanen and Alan Vega as a supergroup?? two albums worth of supergroup at that!!!!
last years Vainio/Vigroux album was a necessity for form with a cover that would never be forgotten....
I'm glad I went to The Guggenheim that day......there's more Finnish Pan Sonicness than you can throw a reindeer at.....music to evoke the most extreme emotions.......