Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus) is a shark species living in Arctic and North Atlantic. It can grow up to 5.5m long and weigh more than 1100 kg. Greenland shark is a longest living vertebrate on earth. The oldest sharks are determinated to be 272-512 years old. Greenland shark females become sexually mature after the age of 130 years. The depth preferencies of Greenland sharks vary between regions. They prefer cold waters between 0-4 degrC at depths below 300m. They are recorded as deep as 2992m. In some districts they can be found also near the sea surface. The flesh of the Greenland shark is toxic due the high concentrations of trimethylamine oxide (TMAO). They have normally poor vision with parasites hanging from their eyes.
“A rare transmission from the Mika Vainio-founded outlet.
A new Sähkö record is usually a big deal. The Finnish label keeps busy with its handful of subsidiaries, but releases on the main platform are rare, especially since the death of Mika Vainio, who cofounded the label with Tommi Grönlund in the ’90s. This new release, the label’s 30th and first of new music since Vainio‘s unexpected death, seems designed to drum up intrigue. It comes with no title and no artist credit, packaged in a black sleeve with just a picture of a Greenland shark. It’s a foreboding presentation, but the 37 minutes of drone on this mystery record are inviting examples of Sähkö‘s approach.
Sähkö is Finnish for electricity, an obsession that drove Vainio‘s work and informs the rest of the label’s music. 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, Untitled says with tone and texture what other artists say with timbre and melody. Depending on how you hear it, Untitled could be a requiem, a celebration or just a black hole to get sucked into—ambiguous but undeniably powerful.” – Andrew Ryce (RA).