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Previously generally known as Panasonic (earlier than a sure Japanese company made identified its dislike for his or her moniker) the Finnish duo Pan Sonic creates radical, up to date digital music. A goes even additional than its predecessor, 1997’s Kulma, in its quest for purity. Like an episode of the TV present ER minus all of the docs and sufferers, the report is in regards to the machines’ viewpoint. That is the sound of fibrillators sighing and electrocardiographs hiccupping, of circuits barely connecting and devices working by themselves whereas no person’s trying. It is onerous to fathom what Pan Sonic may probably do after this album, since they’ve painted themselves into an summary nook. Within the meantime, A is sort of a Pollock portray: the purpose just isn’t essentially which means or a “narrative” however relatively a quasi-feral response to elemental sounds. –Elisabeth Vincentelli

Worth: $ 62.50


3 thoughts on “A.

  • May 16, 2018 at 11:17 pm
    6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    otherworldly magic, February 26, 2001
    Kevin Mcallister (Livonia, MI United States) –

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: A. (Audio CD)
    This album delineates the realm of the machine. Its subject concerns the evolved intelligence of technology gone awry–of science merging with sound to culminate in a grandiloquent menage of industrial malaise. That ‘A’ and the remainder of Pan Sonic’s catalouge is ‘too abstract’ or ‘abjectly minimal’ is of no importance to rabid experimentalists like myself.
    Quite simply, ‘A’ is a landmark of brilliant innovation. It is an album concerned with unfettered mechanical ruminations coupled
    with the sound of sound.
    I first acquainted myself with this Finnish duo with their latest gem, ‘Aaltopiiri;’ an engaging, dynamic album that kept me spellbound at night along with the swirling snow from outside. I hunted down ‘A’ (quite a challenge) and mangaged to procure ‘Vakio’ from an outside retailer.
    I am convinced that Pan Sonic is one of the finest duos working in the electronic field. Those of you who find their material ‘too bland’ either do not have the patience to meticuously process their work, or do not have the capacity to appreciate ingenuity.
  • May 17, 2018 at 12:00 am
    0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Alloy, April 2, 2001
    loteq (Regensburg/Germany) –

    This review is from: A. (Audio CD)
    For lovers of purely electronic music, and I mean electronic in the most banal sense of the word, Pan Sonic’s first few albums were certainly among the most interesting of the ’90s and proved to be a mind-opening, if sometimes also tedious listening adventure for advanced listeners. Whereas the monolithic “Osasto” EP was a clear leap forward from an intriguing start and 1998’s “Endless” (under the VVV name) showed that Pan Sonic’s music can blend menacingly well with angst-ridden, manic vocals, “A” is more or less a slightly refined variation of the sound we’ve found on “Vakio” and “Kulma”. The overall audio quality has improved, with hiss subtracted and more dynamic beat constructions, but otherwise Pan Sonic do not always succeed in stressing instrumental technicality and hair-curling electronic noise over the importance of songwriting and melody. There are scatterings of Autechre, Main, and Pole splashed all over this collection of 17 soundscapes, but yet the energy, provocativeness and beauty felt from the aforementioned artists is largely absent here. It also seems as if some of the pieces here were dropped in as filler in order to make this disc last 64 minutes: Perhaps half of A’s tracks are forgettable or do not leave a lasting impression because they have too few ideas for their length, repeat a simple pattern over and over again, or end up being somewhat pretentious, as if Pan Sonic had forgotten to listen to what they have created. The album’s first half sounds a little more conventional and palatable in comparison, opening with the 6 1/2-minute “Maa”, actually one of the best things Pan Sonic have done. The rhythm is composed of buzzing static which bounces between the stereo channels, underpinned by subtle bass punches and open-ended atmospherics in the background. “Lomittain” is another one of the beat-oriented tracks, with siren-like keyboard tones and a quite funky rhythm, while “Askel” and “Akemia” also manages to hold attention with unpredictable digital waves of static and distortion. “Havainto” starts with umcomfortable, screeching noise but soon gives away to wide-open landscapes of subtle background hums which are battling against a sustained test-tone. The definite highlight and the most gripping track on “A” is the 4 1/2-minute “Johto 2”, a fascinating example of ‘growth and decay’. The pronounced stereo effect lends an unsettling edge to the bouncy frequencies which continually build into sparkling walls of sound, then collapse and repeat these core motif; by the end of the track, the massive bass lines creep into the listener’s bones and make all things which are placed near the speakers vibrate. The rest of “A” does never come close to this engaging and impressive track — too many pieces sound like listening to a Geiger counter, random hiss, or pointless radio static. The ambient pieces also tend to be out of place since one has to crank up the volume only to hear some infinite rumblings, and the abrasive “Sarmays” totally breaks the mood with its irritating machine noise. The album-closing, 9 1/4-minute “Voima” also has little to offer, it winds up sounding like a pitched-down Autechre track but simply doesn’t have the hypnotic or spooky quality it’s striving for. In conclusion, the general alteration between fully developed pieces and filler makes “A” a hard album to love — it’s actually too noisy and disjointed for home listening while also being too bland for clubbers. Although listening to the full 64 minutes in one concentrated sitting is almost impossible, in smaller doses and with your finger on the ‘skip’ button of the remote control this is nevertheless an interesting example of machine language turned into uncompromising sonics. But when given the more accessible dance tunes on the accompanying 4-track EP “B” and the much more cohesive and less noisy new album “Aaltopiiri”, there are really better places to go than “A”, at least for your first taste of Pan Sonic.
  • May 17, 2018 at 12:10 am
    2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Austere, January 3, 2000
    Matthew (Portland, OR United States) –

    This review is from: A. (Audio CD)
    A finds Pan Sonic (formerly Panasonic) heading out into their most abstract venture yet. While the rhythmic element that characterized past efforts is still present on about half the album, the rest is completely detached tones and drones. The opener is fantastic with its use of an open-line sound as a “drum.” There is nothing on here that is quite as furious as the work on Kulma or Vakio, but it remains one of their strongest recordings to date.

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