|Music||Music composed for installation and performance works|
|Notes||I can’t help suspect a dash of Finnish deadpan humour in the placement of the title on the rear cover and its reversal on the spine. Similarly, the portentousness of the embossed gold serif titles is undermined with a very straight face by the edge to edge image on the front endpaper which portrays Vainio smartly attired in a three piece suit and gold tie. Seated on a flowery sofa surrounded by what appears to be ’50s furniture and a stack of coffee table art books. On the floor. Could this be the Finnish noise/techno minimalist caught relaxing in the comfort of his own home? Probably not, but this is surely the sort of deadpan humour also found in Aki Kaurismäki’s films.Vainio’s frank and rather unsettling gaze seems initially to be directed straight at the view, but on closer inspection his eyes are looking subtly downward. The two CDs are held in paper sleeves that blend with the images on the front and rear endpapers. On the latter Vainio is pictured with hands clamped firmly over his ears – a final source of amusement in light of the ear-splitting noise he’s often capable of.
Large images of Vainio’s installations and related details are laid right to the margins throughout. These are dotted with short, explanatory texts. In the middle are 18 pages of essays, discography, bibliography, etc printed on a much thinner paper stock. Time Examined is a subtly amusing, informative and rather wonderful object.
The design is more reminiscent of the approach taken by Linger Decoree and Michaela Kessler for Atom TM’s Liedgut – which makes an interesting alternative to the predominantly cool and modern approach of most of the label’s designs. Both strands do, however, share a tremendous elegance and attention to detail.
Here’s hoping for a similarly interesting take on Carsten Nicolai’s gallery work in the not too distant future.