Review

Vladislav Delay

Whistleblower

Keplar • 2023

When »Whistleblower« was released in the spring of 2007, nobody was familiar with the names of Assange, Snowden or Manning. It was only three years later that they were the talk of the town, stylised as heroes of a new investigative journalism as well as warriors for transparency and control of questionable power structures. Sadly, this era is long gone today, the actors forgotten, ignored, locked away and hushed up. To prevent a similar fate from befalling Vladislav Delay‘s album, this important work in Sasu Ripatti’s oeuvre is now being reissued following »Multila« and »Anima«, for which the Finn has remixed alternative versions of the original tracks. With these seven tracks, the sonic focus shifts somewhat away from abstract, atmospheric textures towards more structure, subtle rhythms and a more direct artistic expression. The increased use of dub production techniques which are no longer considered just suitable as soundtracks for ASMR videos, also makes tracks like »He Lived Deeply« or »Wanted To (Kill)« challenging listening experiences. Produced in Berlin, where Ripatti was forced to endure hard times and plenty of upheavals at the time, »Whistleblower« sometimes sounds melancholic and disillusioned, then again spirited and optimistic. Fittingly, Ripatti began to change his dissolute lifestyle during this time and became father to a daughter to whom he dedicated the track »Lumi«. This will to change something in the social or personal status quo ultimately connects »Whistleblower« to some extent with the eponymous activists.