artist profile

His world permanently fluctuates between hot and cold; composed of creaks, whistles, strange noises and rhythmic improbabilities, it’s a world oftentimes futuristic, yet prehistoric

Ilpo Väisänen, born in Kuopio / Finland in 1963, studied visual arts and ceramics, graduated from Turku art academy in 1991 and in the early 90s took part in several solo and group exhibitions.

He formed the performance-art group ultra3 in 1991 and in 1993, together with Mika Vainio, the sound group sinO which turned into Pan Sonic (originally called Panasonic), a crucial and visionary duo in electronic music for over two decades, which definitively ceased activities after the irreparable disappearance of its other half, the brilliant musician Mika Vainio.

Originally from Helsinki, but having sprouted up in several other places over the years where the air was more breathable for there was greater freedom, they trekked through new possibilities in sound, timbre and structure, in a field which covered all the knowledge that interested them. Political, philosophical, cultural – human. Musically speaking, and from the viewpoint of the prevalent vocabularies, they mixed techno with the spirit of the most caustic rock, with dub, and the most enlightened side of what was to be known as industrial. Ilpo Väisänen returned to solo albums through now canonical Editions Mego in 2015 with ‘Communist Dub’, ‘I-LP-O in Dub’ in 2017, and last year’s larger album, ‘ÄÄNET’, in honour of his late friend. Peppered with some field recordings from a Pan Sonic tour of the USA, this album makes for the most dignified, powerful and delicate elegy.

His work continues to be marked by a fierce independence at every level, with the metaphysical trinkets of his own creation alongside the more usual technologies, making music so we don’t forget the reasons for fighting.

Photo by TomokoNasato