As one half of Pan Sonic, Ilpo Väisänen creates the duo’s grainy drones, while solo, he’s been active in the abstract jazz realm as Piiri, and explored more dubby territory as Llima on his own label, Kangaroo, a sub of Raster Noton. Väisänen is also in the groups Angel (with Schneider TM and Hildur Gudnadottir) and VVE, with Mika Vainio and Alan Vega of Suicide.
While Ilpo Väisänen (b.1963) was at art school in Turku in the late 80s, he was part of Finland’s nascent acid house scene as a member of Hyperdelic Housers, an art collective that organised illegal raves in the boreal forests. Other members of the collective included Mika Vainio, Väisänen’s partner in Pan Sonic, and Tommi Grönlund, who went on to found the Sähkö label.
By 1991, Väisänen was part of ULTRA 3, a noise/sound/performance art group “seeking the limit of total randomness,” comprised of Väisänen, Jari Jula and Kasimir Koistinen. In 1993, Mika Vainio joined the group and it was renamed SINØ. Väisänen and Vainio released their first EP, Muuntaja (1994 Sähkö Records), as Panasonic the following year, Väisänen supplying much of the crackling synth-drone aesthetic on their custom-built instruments. Väisänen explores further afield in solo releases under his own name, and reveals his jazz and dub affiliations under the aliases Piiri and Llima.
In 1995, Väisänen released the Moor EP (UPO), a collaboration with other members of the tight knit underground music scene in Finland: MP Lancaster, Kim Rapatti, and Jimi Tenor. Väisänen’s first solo release came in 1999 as the February instalment of Raster Noton’s 20' to 2000 series. A year later Väisänen’s first solo full-length, Asuma, was released by Austria’s famed Mego label.
Väisänen adopted the Piiri and Llima aliases in the late 90s and early 00s; Piiri was for rhythmically complex music that recalled hard and free bop, Llima was for more reduced, dub-infused productions, which he released on his own Raster Noton sub-label, Kangaroo.
More recently, Väisänen has been a member of the group Angel with Dirk Dresselhaus (Schneider TM). SchneiderTM came into contact with Väisänen while he was supporting Pan Sonic on their European tour in 1999. Since then they have played one show a year in Berlin, always in July. Hildur Guðnadóttir joined in 2006.
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