Luomo | Convivial

Huume (2008)      
By DEVIN KING  |  November 11, 2008
4.0 4.0 Stars


Known also for his more ambient work as Vladislav Delay, Luomo is the house-music moniker of Finnish producer Sasu Ripatti. And though Convivial purports to be a dance record, Luomo's real skills are in bringing pop melodies and structures to house music without, like LCD Soundsystem, turning them into pop songs with electronic drums and synth sweeps.

Convivial still flows like German dance music — it progresses by the addition of rhythmic layers rather than through the hard chord changes of pop music. "Sleep Tonight" begins with oddly pitched metallic sounds that form a random rhythmic framework under which Luomo slips the usual 4/4 bass drum beat. Then one of his vocal collaborators, Johanna Iivanainen, appears to play the house diva, singing, "Can I get to sleep tonight?", only to have her repetitions devolve into computerized noise.

By making the music busier, Luomo fakes what in a pop form would be the bridge — when the music modulates out of its routine, the listener (or dancer) accepts that as progression. These tricks crop up throughout the album — sly moves familiar to house fans are retrofitted to a pop framework, and the result is an entirely new (and very livable) structure.

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