Lost Weight - Immune to Jewels (SPEXII058)

Lost Weight : Immune To Jewels CD

Lost Weight is the moniker under which Jukka Vallisto releases sound works, made both by himself and with collaborators. On previous releases, pieces have taken the forms of sample-built 4/4 stomps, snaky rhythm excursions in time signatures like 15/8, and abstract contours navigating a space which harshness and smoothness cohabit. 

Immune To Jewels collects plunderphonics pieces made between 1995 and 2011, from a miniaturized Finnish lullaby, via several pieces made while working for (and broadcast on) London’s Resonance FM, to a stamping on, or succumbing to, a cornucopia of sins. Sometimes source material has been manipulated a lot, edited, resampled, layered, effected or otherwise treated. In other pieces, large chunks of works have been placed in each others’ majestic presence, bringing about a result that is yet greater than the hum of its already sublime parts. 

The pieces hit the sweet spot between experimenting and entertaining. Ever wanted to hear what a collaboration between Pauline Oliveros and Claude Debussy might sound like? Here you go. How about a trinity of Maryanne Amacher, Christina Kubisch and Eliane Radigue? There you are. Fennesz and Mike Patton have played concerts together but haven’t released any studio recordings. Until now, that is. An anti-war dirge by Coil, Throbbing Gristle, Lightnin’ Hopkins and Tom Waits? Enjoy. Speaking of Waits, what if he sang like a black lady? Perhaps you’ll find out. 

Vallisto also plays with Helsinki freedom fighters Boris Morgana.

SPEXII058 | released on CD only.


Lost Weight is all about recycling existing music, plunderphonics is perhaps the proper term. Vallisto has used anything from the Stooges to Debussy, from Pauline Oliveros to Hot Chocolate, from Mike Patton to Throbbing Gristle. Sometimes heavily reworked, some not a lot, but having said that, I must admit I didn’t recognize much in this, but no doubt that says more about me, I guess. Unlike the plunderphonics that made the name for the genre, say Tape-beatles, this particular brand of plunderphonics come without much added vocals, so its not in the political or social commentary area, and here its music pour la music, I guess. How can I recombine sounds and musical bits from more than hundred years of recordings and make them into something new? And since I didn’t recognize any of the original sounds and music used, I can safely say that for all I know Vallisto succeeded well. An interesting bunch of pieces, sampled neatly together, with great care and variation, culminating in a rather bluesy piece, ‘The Trickle Up Theory’, which reminded me of Moby. The whole spectrum of music is covered, but if there is a word needed to tie of all this together I’d say its ‘cinematic’ music. With introspective moments, with spooky themes and jubilant movements. Hard to believe its all about plunderphonics, as it sounds pretty ‘original’ to these ears. A great release! (Vital Weekly)

I think you can only say to yourself, “What the hell?” so many times in a single listen before you have to accept that you’re just not digging it. Such is the case with the plunderphonic pile of oddness that is Lost Weight’s Immune to Jewels. There are interesting spots, but not many, in this collection of work dating from 1995 to 2011. “Thing King” takes a couple of elements, one of which sounds like one note on harmonica, throws in a clangy power chord, adds a scream, then ramps up the amplitude and stretches the whole thing into a thick, barbed-wire-coated drone that fades just before you completely feel like murdering it. “Opposite of Occam’s Razor” is the best thing here, which may not be saying much, as it pulls Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” into sound-morsels and re-arranges them. It almost becomes an a cappella hymnal in spots. Beyond that it’s a series of mid-air collisions between sources and odd pairings of existing pieces that quickly becomes a series of punches to your brain. The whole plunderphonic idea seems to have fallen by the wayside in recent years, and a listen to Immune to Jewels would suggest maybe that’s a good thing. If you like noise, experimental approaches, and wildly non-linear composition, have a listen. (Hypnagogue)

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