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Wednesday, May 25 2005 | 17:03

Mika Vainio’s solo career as Ø continues after a long break. “Kantamoinen” is the first new Ø album in nine years. It is also the most melodic and romantic music Vainio has ever recorded.

Ø is Mika Vainios’s longest lasting pseudonym. Vainio is best known as the other half of minimalist electronic group Pan Sonic. The first Ø album was released back in 1994 on Sähkö Recordings, before Pan Sonic’s recording career began. As with Pan Sonic, extremely minimalistic expression is the most distinctive feature in Ø’s music. On Ø albums Vainio has oftencreated more atmospheric and abstract pieces than with Pan Sonic.

“Kantamoinen” is a step into a new direction, from abstract to concrete. It is more romantic than his earlier albums and also more personal. Vainio doesn’t want to think of Kantamoinen as a concept album, but some of the tracks are inspired by Vainio’s childhood memories. The summery photo on the album cover is of Vainios grandmother’s house in Artjärvi, Southern Finland. “Especially the last track Kotiin (To Home) has to do with that place”, says Vainio.

Vainio, born in Turku, South-west Finland in 1963, now lives in Berlin. Technically “Kantamoinen” is typical Vainio. The music is almost all done using analogue equipment. Because the settings on his instruments can not be saved, the music heard on this album is unique, unlike most of today’s electronic music.

Vainio will start work on the next Pan Sonic album with Ilpo Väisänen in summer 2005. It is due for release in the end of the year.

The album Mika Vainio (aka Ø)Kantamoinen” (Sähkö) is going to be released June 27, 2005.

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