Niko-Matti Ahti


Students Of Decay • 2023

»Kaivajaiset« (»excavations«) is a late (solo) debut. Niko-Matti Ahti has been active in the Finnish and international scene for adventurous electronic music and sound art for more than two decades, but so far he has only delivered music to take home in collaboration with others, including his wife Marja. The eight pieces were not conceived as an album, however, but rather serve as a document of a sound installation. Presented in two Finnish galleries, it drew on writings by the British proto-socialist Diggers group in the 17th century as well as the Nietzschean concept of genealogy and its interpretation by Michel Foucault.

If that sounds hard to swallow, don’t worry: Ahti makes sure that it’s incredibly light on the stomach. Clearly inspired by musique concrète and real-time music, this album, which greets its audience within the first few minutes with cheerful brass notes, is anything but obtrusive. For even if it gets squeaky or noisy every now and then and a few speech samples are embedded in between: Especially the abrasive tones are finely embedded in an overall quiet album. »Kaivajaiset« rewards close listening and an engagement with its contents just as much as it recommends itself as a relaxed ambient soundtrack. Infusing space and time with aesthetics, after all, remains Ahti’s true profession.