Fin­land’s Yotto has global per­spec­tive

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The Georgia Straight - - MUSIC - By

EUROPE HAS long been known as the world cen­tre of dance mu­sic. Firmly em­bed­ded in the cul­ture of cities and towns like Ber­lin, Lon­don, and Ibiza, elec­tronic records have been a main­stay on ra­dio sta­tions since the ’80s.

Over the past 10 years, how­ever, North Amer­ica’s EDM boom has cre­ated its own cul­tural iden­tity—one that, ac­cord­ing to Fin­nish DJ and pro­ducer Yotto, has its own unique ben­e­fits.

“In North Amer­ica, it’s ob­vi­ously in a very good place right now,” he tells the Straight on the line from a Philadel­phia tour stop. “It re­ally blew up there a decade ago, with the boom around the big fes­ti­vals and ev­ery­thing that came with it. It’s turned into a big busi­ness. I think that’s a great thing, be­cause ev­ery­thing is so pro­fes­sional. And peo­ple lis­ten to all types of mu­sic— they don’t dif­fer­en­ti­ate. You have kids that go to a techno party, and the same peo­ple might go to a dub­step show. That’s not very com­mon in Europe, and these places where dance mu­sic has been around for longer. In North Amer­ica it’s al­ways seemed to be like that—that ev­ery­one works to­gether a bit more.”

The artist has an au­thor­i­ta­tive take on the global ecosys­tem. First ex­pe­ri­enc­ing elec­tronic mu­sic af­ter pick­ing up records from the Fin­nish pub­lic li­brary sys­tem and now signed to U.K. deep house la­bel An­ju­nadeep, the pro­ducer—born Otto Ylipert­tula—has been play­ing around the world since 2015 and is a reg­u­lar in renowned in­ter­na­tional clubs. His lat­est set of dates show­cases his first full-length re­lease, a 13-track col­lec­tion named Hyper­fall, that Ylipert­tula re­leased in Septem­ber this year.

“I felt that I wanted to put out an al­bum be­cause an al­bum can do some­thing a bit dif­fer­ent from the club sin­gles mixes that I keep re­leas­ing,” he says. “So I had these huge tracks that I re­ally liked that didn’t make sense as sin­gles. It came to­gether quite fast. I built it like a DJ set would be, so that it had some sort of flow. At the be­gin­ning, there are a cou­ple of tracks that I can never play out when I’m Djing. And then there’s ‘Nada C’, which leads to a more chilled-out, deeper mid­sec­tion, and then it takes off to­wards the end a bit more with big tracks, and stays up.”

The typ­i­cal Yotto sound—mus­cu­lar, 120-bpm bass lines with stac­cato melodies—un­der­scores ev­ery track on the record, with the pro­ducer us­ing those el­e­ments to craft songs that range from dark un­der­ground bangers to more com­mer­cial EDM pop. Con­scious that ticket-buy­ers are keen to ex­pe­ri­ence those of­fer­ings live, Ylipert­tula has cho­sen to con­struct this tour’s sets around the al­bum’s mul­ti­ple moods.

“I have to de­lib­er­ately play as much of my own mu­sic as I can, be­cause that’s usu­ally what peo­ple want to see—es­pe­cially on an al­bum tour,” he says. “But there’s just so much good new mu­sic out on a weekly ba­sis. It’s crazy. I go through pro­mos and new mu­sic ev­ery day. And then when I’m on-stage, I have five brand­new tracks I want to play, and have to work out where to fit them in. I al­ways build a set around my own tracks, try­ing to make sure they ac­tu­ally stand out, and then I use oth­ers as tran­si­tions, as func­tional tools. It’s a balanc­ing act.”

Kate Wil­son

Yotto has been play­ing in­ter­na­tion­ally since 2015.

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