The Finnish producer's unique approach to making music is rightly gaining attention
Another day, another veteran music producer appears on my radar!
Aleksi Perälä may have been making music since the mid-90s (on Rephlex, first as Ovuca, then as Astrobotnia) but only recently have I started to hear about his ongoing series of releases, collectively known as the Colundi Sequence. Developed with former Rephlex boss Grant Wilson-Claridge, the idea behind this weirdly-named approach to making music can be difficult to grasp at first. Ben Cardew at The Quietus best describes things:
One of the great liberations in electronic music production has come in allowing musicians to escape from the limitations of Western tonal music, where a semitone is the smallest interval between two notes.
There’s nothing particularly new about microtonality - Indian, Indonesian, Thai, Burmese and African music all use alternative tuning systems, while Western composers have been playing with the idea of notes between notes since the early 20th Century. But electronic music production has nourished the idea, removing the need for music makers to notate their microtonal ideas in a traditional style and leaving them free to play around with sound. In the case of the Aphex Twin - who has been using microtointervals since Selected Ambient Works - electronic production has even taken microtonality into the mainstream.
So, instead of working from a standardised range of octaves with semitones, Perälä and Wilson Claridge have devised their own bespoke musical scale which uses frequencies, or if you prefer notes between notes.
From what I've heard of Perälä's vast collection so far (there's literally hundreds of tracks on his Bandcamp page) the music he makes using this Colundi Sequence ranges from Ambient to Techno to all the styles associated with Braindance; it has Aphex Twin / Polygon Window written all over it - which isn't necessarily a bad thing. In fact, Perälä manages to avoid the extremes to which Richard D James sometimes takes things, meaning almost everything is very listenable.
If you can't face wading through all that music, I've picked out a few tracks to whet your appetite: