A rare transmission from the Mika Vainio-founded outlet.
Sähkö is Finnish for electricity, an obsession that drove Vainio's work and informs the rest of the label's music. (Contrast that with the Jimi Tenor-curated sub-label Puu, which means "wood.") This record begins with several minutes of crackling electrical static, which floats above bass notes that feel like an oasis of musicality in a vast soundscape. The prickly textures are eventually subsumed by the EP's dominant sound, a sonorous drone that feels both empty and all-encompassing. High-pitched whirs take over until all you can focus on is the humming in your ears. It starts to play tricks on you: are the tones changing, or is your mind just wandering? The strange brew of peace and discomfort reminds me of the American drone musician Kevin Drumm, who excels at creating these same liminal spaces.
The EP's second half begins in foggier realms, like we've dozed off somewhere in the middle and then woken up confused. The sound design here is impeccable, as bits of interference—like what sounds like Morse code—surface occasionally, until we're back in the deep tunnel of drone in which the record spends most of its time, like slipping into a comfortable duvet. As with the best Sähkö records, No Title says with tone and texture what other artists say with timbre and melody. Depending on how you hear it, No Title could be a requiem, a celebration or just a black hole to get sucked into—ambiguous but undeniably powerful.