Luomo, Plus


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What does it mean that one of the best house albums of all time is the creation of someone who doesn’t think very much of it? While many (including yours truly) hold the six tracks contained on Luomo’s early masterpiece Vocalcity to be one of the touchstones of modern house music, Sasu Ripatti doesn’t really see what all the fuss is about. Which is fine: often artists see their work in a very different light from their fans, and it’s only fitting that Ripatti would see more recent Luomo albums as the superior ones, seeing as he wants the project to progress and only he really knows what that progression entails. Plus is the snapshot of where the Luomo project stands right now: simultaneously more pop and more experimental than his previous work.

“Twist” opens up with an almost nagging synth line soon joined by vocals that might suggest one Luomo’s poppier transmissions, if it weren’t for the extended runtime and slowly churning vortex of melodies and filter cutoffs. “Good Stuff” is much more pop, but not quite as good: it’s the longest track on the album and ends up losing a bit of steam. “How You Look” is a definite album highlight, sounding like a Trax-era Chicago drum track through Ripatti’s peculiar lens, while “Make My Day” and “Happy Strong” stomp along with confidence. The second half of the album is much shorter in terms of running time, with fuller vocal treatments and more immediate thrills. “Medley Through” could have appeared on Underground Quality given its deeper instrumentation and almost acid bass line, while “Form In Void” and “Immaculate Motive” are strong vocal-led pop songs. The best, however, is saved for last, in the very fine “Spy” — as unabashedly catchy as Luomo has ever been and all the better for it.

I suppose what all this means is that Luomo has not sounded quite so house in a very long time (yes, even after doing a track with Robert Owens). What I hear on Plus, and what I found missing from recent Luomo efforts, is a sense of groove that elevates things from dance music on an intellectual level to dance music on a physical one. As someone who didn’t love The Present Lover (how could I be angry with the recent batch of uninspired “Tessio” remixes when Ripatti himself was so capable of the same thing?), and who has seen plenty of likable-if-not-loveable Luomo material since, I think it’s easy to say that Plus is the best Luomo album since the venerable Vocalcity — even if that kind of comparison might not mean to much to Ripatti.

Blaktony  on October 19, 2011 at 6:33 AM

Fine Indeed; Love “Spy”.

Henderick AKA Thelonious Funk  on October 25, 2011 at 4:47 PM

I would the the next person to say that Luomo’s Vocal City album was one of if not the best deep house album of all time. This album is ok at best… Twist will certain get some play from me…


Little White Earbuds October Charts | Little White Earbuds  on November 10, 2011 at 10:50 PM

[…] Leaves” [Royal Oak] (buy) 07. Roman Fl├╝gel, “Lush Life Libido” [Dial] (buy) 08. Luomo, “Good Stuff” [Moodmusic] (buy) 09. BNJMN, “Open The Floodgates” [Rush Hour Direct Current] (buy) 10. […]

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