PRINT November 1997



What is currently being marketed as “electronica” represents the music industry’s belated attempt to capitalize on a moribund rave culture and its techno-hippie aesthetic. The hype over Prodigy, The Chemical Brothers, et al. ignores more significant efforts to extend and outstrip rave’s musical resources: on the one hand, vanguard junglists like Plug and Squarepusher stutter and fracture techno’s relentless 4/4 throb to create music of dizzying rhythmic complexity. On the other hand, electronica outfits (e.g., Oval, Autechre, Microstoria) abstract techno’s melodic and harmonic material with an interest in pure sound.

The Finnish duo PANASONIC takes this latter route to the extreme. Emerging from Finland’s rave scene in 1993, Mika Vainio and Ilpo Väisuanen settled into a converted sauna and, with homemade analog synthesizers and drum machines, began turning out astonishingly spare electronic

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