A Love Cycle
Sami Sänpäkkilä, owner and curator of the phenomenal Fonal label, has managed to attract a great deal of interest in his work over the last couple of years. Peaking with the frankly unmissable vinyl-only ‘Sateenkaarisuudelma’ album on Kraak, the Finnish musician drew people into his world of crackling vinyl, distant piano and half-sung Finnish nursery rhymes. ‘A Love Cycle’ was originally released in 2001 and is the second Es album, but to beef up this re-issue a little Sänpäkkilä has added an extra track, the gorgeous ‘Suuri Hoyhen’ which appeared on a Kraak compilation/sampler also in 2001. It’s been out of press for far too long now, and since interest had grown in Sänpäkkilä’s works significantly recently, it seems like the perfect time to fashion a reissue! Surprisingly given the dubious longevity of experimental/electronic music the disc still sounds as fresh as ever; the album was put together almost entirely using three cheap flea-market turntables and a pile of decaying vinyl, so Philip Jeck and Christian Marclay are obviously going to come in handy as reference points, but Sänpäkkilä injects his own personality into the noisy loops and crackle. His homespun aesthetic is as present here as on his choice of releases for Fonal, beautiful ethereal humming erupts over bassy rumbles and disconcerting static while distortion cracks and crumbles overhead. I suppose many would describe Es as ‘ambient’ music, but there is more going on here than may at first reveal itself, the layers need peeling away slowly on repeated listens before you achieve maximum enjoyment. Within these loops rest hidden glimpses of love, love for music, for art, for the process itself, and that’s what makes Sami Sänpäkkilä’s work just so damn involving. A huge recommendation and an essential part of the Fonal catalogue.