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Kemikoski is arguably the best record made by Vladislav Delay in his pre-Luomo days and is an essential release for anyone interested in his pre-house experimental work. On 1999's Kemikoski Delay returned to his original pseudonym, Conoco, and reworked material first developed in 1996/1997. Along with 1997's The Kind of Blue E.P. (Huume) and 1999's Ele (Sigma Editions) Kemikoski's three tracks, 'Koski,' 'Keppi' and 'Ventola' evade any specific categorization and revel in a deconstructive experimentation with the form of dance music.

The tracks 'Koski' and 'Keppi', in particular, share many of the same interests that Delay explored with Ele, from the length of the tracks to their methods of construction. These two tracks hint at consistent beats more than they hold them and when the rhythm is allowed to solidify its deconstruction begins again almost immediately. Delay's refusal to 'ground' the music could be seen as an attempt to evade the hypnotism of techno and the refusal to leave the music free enough to float, an attempt to evade the dreamy and disinterested listening state encouraged by ambient music. As with Ele a strong dub influence is evoked by the immersive quality of the delay soaked sounds.

With 'Ventola' Delay's concerns shift towards those of The Kind of Blue E.P. and to a lesser extent his 1999 release on Chain Reaction. Here a jaunty and jaundiced techno is experimented with. Along with the late 90's proliferation of European minimal techno (typified by a kind of health, an ease of production, listenability and danceability) some producers began embracing an unhealthy state where even the most basic tenets of techno were repeatedly attacked and weakened. Delay was certainly among the 'techno' producers who showed little regard (or is it, in fact, the highest regard?) for the tradition of techno. The tradition is used as the base for formulating the parameters of an experimentalism that necessarily calls for the negation of that tradition. An outright dismissal of everything developed within the tradition would be as senseless as an uncritical acceptance of it and it is for this reason that even in this 'impoverished' form it still resembles, and warrants the name, techno.

- Todd Dealer, 1999
ARTIST
CONOCO
TITLE
Kemikoski
CAT. #
sigma007
FORMAT
12"
DURATION
41'
RELEASED
1999