Published by Davide Pappalardo on February 16, 2018
Viktor Kalima a.k.a Mikko Virtala is a Finnish producer and musician, already involved with industrial/noise projects CSD (together with Olof Cotard) and New Sincerity (together with Eero Pulkkinen of Running). Now he debuts on Italian label Infidel Bodies with his solo project dedicated to EBM influenced techno with an acid and synth-driven twist, a sound surely linked to the modern techno-industrial scene, but at the same time akin to a groovier and we dare say “funkier” vision of this music. Club muscle is the name of the cassette, mastered in Naples at the Red Dungeon and produced by Virtala himself, made of seven original tracks and two remixes courtesy of Italian veteran Violet Poison and French project Verset Zero. As already said, here you will find smooth sounds and a quiet engaging atmosphere which reminds us of the golden era of new beat and electro thanks to a fusion of rigid EBM rhythms and lively synth-lines with an energetic old-school vibe full of groove.
Zero to one starts the work with an abrasive and minimal movement made of cutting lines and a steady drum machine, developing an EBM ride close to the style of Sarin and the “aufnahme+wiedergabe sound”, but less militaristic. The track gets a remix by Verset Zero, in which it is transformed in a noisier and more aggressive affair thanks to factory-like samples and a hypnotizing riff, without losing at the same time its groove. Burn the dada is a dense and pounding number full of enthralling percussion and cutting synth, recalling the Belgian school, while Operations & interactions plays with acid atmospheres and sounds aiming to revive the past with a dark industrial twist.
Penetrate uses a syncopate structure made of bass sounds and obsessive vocal loops, underlined by a throbbing movement, in order to give us a dancefloor oriented song. The remix by Violet Poison enhances the rhythmic session of the track, opting for a stripped and minimal approach focused on the usage of militant rhythms and dark effects. The result is a dystopian counterpart to the original with an eerier and dream(nightmare)-like atmosphere. Gastrizein is a galvanizing techno-industrial number with fat bass-lines and sharp rhythmic patterns conveying a grooving loop.
Viktor Kalima presents here a personal take on modern ebm/industrial tinged techno, choosing to follow a lysergic and funky sound less brooding and violent, but not less captivating. than the one of his peers. The result is the fusion of new beat/acid house atmospheres and pounding industrial rhythms, with a focus on looping riffs and old-school synth-lines. A good starting point for an artist promising to sound refreshing in a scene where the peril of repetition and imitation is not on the far side of the corner. He reminds us that you don’t always have to dress in black to enjoy a good, strong, rhythm, and that there is nothing to be ashamed of in a funky beat. Treat yourself with his music!
Label: Infidel Bodies