Mika Vainio, editions mego, sähkö, blast first, raster-noton, touch/ finland
Mika Vainio, currently based in Berlin, was one half of the minimal electronic duo Pan Sonic from Finland (the other was Ilpo Väisänen), whose brand of quirky, lo-fi minimalism transformed them into one of the most popular exports from the Northern European techno underground. Before starting Pan Sonic in beginning of the 90s, Mika Vainio played electronics and drums as part of the early Finnish industrial and noise scene.
His solo works, under his own name and under aliases like Ø, tend more toward the ambient and experimental, blending sparse machine noises with shifting rhythms, stubbornly unmusical sonic textures, assorted channel separation weirdness and known for their analogue warmth and electronic harshness.
Be it abstract drone works or minimal avant techno, Vainio is always creating unique, physical sounds. He has released on labels like editions Mego, Touch, Wavetrap and Sähkö and he has been producing with Alan Vega of Suicide, Keiji Haino, Chicks on Speed, John Duncan and Bruce Gilbert.
Vainio’s releases stretch back to the early ’90s (predating his association with Panasonic by a few years); his earliest work appeared on the Corporate label before landing with Finnish techno institution Sahko in 1993, where he’s released most of his material, including three albums and a handful of EPs.