Home Read Classic Album Review: Pan Sonic | Aaltopiiri

Classic Album Review: Pan Sonic | Aaltopiiri

The Finnish duo's latest is less a collection of songs than an organization of sounds.

This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


This Finnish minimalist techno duo used to be known as Panasonic. Then the corporate lawyers caught up to them. But even without the extra vowel, Mika Vainio and Ilpo Vaisanen still have one crucial point in common with the electornics firm — they’re just slightly ahead of our time.

Aaltopiiri (as near as I can tell from a Finnish-English translation Web site, it means something like Liquid Atmosphere) isn’t so much a collection of songs as an organization of sounds; a weird synthesis of hums, buzzes, drones, tones, clicks, pops and whirrs, skillfully manipulated and artfully arranged into a soothing synthesis of chilly ambient-industrial grooves and avant-noise innovation. These could be the mating songs of highly advanced alien insects, communications between morphine-addict robots, or the soundtrack to that paranoid sci-fi epic that screens on the inside of your forehead every night before you go to sleep.