Kirill Junolainen, best known perhaps for his works under his imprint Lasergum Records, and aliases such as Juno Lazer Machine, returns once again, this time as VEF 317, featured on a vinyl LP collaboration between German YUYAY Records, and R.A.N.D. Muzik called "VEF Radio".
This record is quite unique and interesting however, in that in concept it is an expression of a love for once modern technology. Here, using old Soviet era drum machines and synthesizers, Junolainen concocts a minimalist collection of tunes that range in different styles, from the more fierce and robotic like "Floppydisc" or "UKW", driven by razorsharp bass tones, spooky synths, and bewildering sound manipulation, drawing inspiration throughout from the Detroit Ghettotech sound, to the more nostalgic and retro songs like "Modern Wave", "Nostalgie", or "Speedway", where visionary synth flights propel you into the galactic depths with awe and mystique, floating atop crisp high-energy Electro Pop beats; subtle but packed tightly, and with lots of minimalist rhythms, all highly contagious with a strong 80's Sci-Fi feel that is emotive and rather profound.
Then there is the old school Breaks and Electro Boogie vibes that seep through productions like "Telefon 1-800" and "Spectrumworld", taking you back to a time to when the godfather of Breaks James Brown took over the scene like a wildfire, not long after seeing the birth of Hip Hop and Electro Funk, all the while strong influences from the German group Kraftwerk could be heard affecting the evolution of the sound like a puppetmaster who pulled the strings from behind the curtains!
Here, that Electro purist approach helps to infuse each tune with a very organic analog feel still that keeps everything in line with the other compositions, never feeling outdated or attempting to copy a cliche sound, instead like with the rest of the album, there is a very general character through each of Junolainen's tunes that possesses a highly adventurous and explorative mind, with a strong electronica soul, while its heart is somehow rooted in Detroit.
VEF Radio is available now on vinyl including 11 tracks, or as a digital download with 20 tunes in total. Purchase the vinyl straight from the label's Bandcamp, and you can have both versions for the price of one!
VEF Radio is a highly recommended release by an artist who displays with his alias VEF 317, just how versatile he really is, taking us on a mesmerizing journey through the history of our music, via machines that at one point where considered to be at the forefront of human progress, now instruments we merely have a nostalgic, somehow romantic connection to as they once inspired us and brought us one step closer to our inevitable future.
Listen to the full album below: