Off to Finland
Five years ago, I ran into these guys for the first time. Vuo. It was their “Red Echo EP” with pretty nice work from Marco Cassanelli and Shuffless. Loved that TM Shuffle remix on that one, nicely spaced out stuff. TM Shuffle is Jukka Hänninen and he’s the owner of the label, way up there in Finland.
I was curious, looked it up. Ruutana. It’s located in that huge mid-section of Finland where it’s hard to tell whether there’s more lakes or more forests. There are more than 200 lakes within the region, in a land that has far more than 180.000 of them. If you jumped into a different lake every day, you would need about 500 years to swim in every single one of them.
But then, you might choose to do other things instead, like making music, running a little label, djing over in Tampere, which is just 20 minutes away, or in Helsinki, a good two hours by car. Hänninen and his friends are in no hurry though. It took them 15 years to get from vuo001 to vuo005. But that must have been the point in time when folks beyond the lakes and forests started noticing that some fine Dub Techno was made over there on the shores of lake Vesijärvi. This EP is vuo009, so it only took five years to almost double the number of releases.
The guest lists on their releases are beginning to turn into another indicator of quality and success. The omnipresent Ohm dropped by on number 7, Monoder number 8, and this time we get to enjoy tracks by Modernism and Sibling, alongside label boss TM Shuffle and newcomer Submoon.
The elemental mood is clearly more earthy on the A side. Modernism’s “Computational One” keeps it straight and simple, blending house, minimal and dub, focused and rolling. No detours, no bells and whistles, no decorations, this is pure, single-minded and good.
Things get clearly more icy afterwards on Sibling’s arctic “Soundscapes”, lots of space and plenty of textures to fill it, the mood clearly making you think that you should go back to the shelf and follow it up with Deepchord’s “Coldest Season”.
But then TM Shuffle wipes away the icicles and the ominous vocals, clearing the view to reveal a “Skyline” that feels more like the line on the horizon, where the sky begins, not like an urban skyline. If Sibling took us up to Rovaniami with their “Soundscapes”, this would keep us focused on a night drive back to Ruutana. Submoon (a.k.a. Alessandro Tasso) is already there, welcoming us with plenty of good vibes, an air full of energy and positivity.
Things will be good, Submoon seems to say, the future is bright. And he’s right. For Vuo it will be, no doubt about that.
Release for review:
V.A. – ELEMENTAL MOOD SERIES VOL. 5 – VUO RECORDS – vuo009