Ukkonen “Viva Las Huelgas” (from ‘The Ancient Tonalities Of..’ LP); “Kayamanu Divided” below. “Arctic house” from Finland.
Ukkonen is a Finnish “artic-house” producer. Debut album The Isolated Rhythms Of.. was released on Uncharted Audio in 2012, and was met with considerable underground acclaim. Despite a self-declared “zero interest in dance music”, The Wire magazine called his work “a solution to the problem of dance music”.
Second LP The Ancient Tonalities of… is a marked progression for an already prophetic talent. The record is built on two central themes: adulation and respect for influence and tradition, and a pressing desire to contribute something “new” to music. It is no co-incidence influence is both drawn from beyond the predictable, and from within it: composers Bartok, Messiaen, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Takemitsu are acknowledged alongside electronic totems Squarepusher and Aphex Twin; early vocal music and the Ars Nova period (Machaut, Perotin, de Vitry) beside household contemporary minimalist and modernist composers and rock classicists Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix.
This catch-all extends to musical theory. Melodies are instant, yet among the techniques used are “mensuration canons” (one melody simultaneously played at different speeds by different voices to create it’s own accompaniment); “isorhythms” (a fixed series of pitches run through a fixed rhythm at odds with the time signature); and “simultaneous tempos” (tracks utilising multiple tempos; some changing, some consistent). The record is built but not defined by these systems; the effect they have is simply of falling into the most lucid of intangible dreams.
“I intend to innovate - I want this music to push some ideas forward into the world. not to impress or try to be better or more clever than anyone else. It’s done out of a sense of joy in doing so…joy in the creative process, and excitement at sharing the results.”