5 x 4 is a new solo collection from Laura Naukkarinen, recorded at Elektronmusikstudion EMS in Stockholm using the historic Buchla 200 modular synthesizer, an AKG BX20 spring reverb, and, on two songs, her voice. The album shows yet another side of her singular musical universe, by turns aquatic and meditative, always pulsing with energy.

Lau Nau’s ninth album, 5 x 4 is being released by her longtime co-conspirators Fonal Records (Finland) and Beacon Sound (US) on vinyl and digital formats, and as a CD by Ektro Records (Finland). Composed and recorded at EMS over a period of five years, the title is a reference to the Buchla’s sequencer, which has five steps and four tracks, thus creating the characteristic five-beat tempo behind the compositions. The eight tracks that comprise 5 x 4 fluctuate between different moods: the contemplative hum of Isopoda; the coral-like tones and lush vocal melodies of lead single Sessilia; and the carbonated radiance of Hyperiidea and Amphipoda. 

The cover art is by an Italian painter Ester Grossi, printed in special fluorescent pantone colors that are especially luminant under UV light. 

I’ve been composing for five years at Elektronmusikstudion’s Buchla. When I started the project, I wanted to compose about the change in the living conditions of plankton in the Baltic Sea and the variation in their biomass, but soon the logic and sound of the instrument took me with it. I started composing music for marine nature, forgetting all the strict boundaries of the subject. The world of crustaceans and zooplankton opens up in the music: darkness and the light filtered by the eutrophicated sea alternate under the surface, the salinity of the sea varies and the turbidity of the water makes the observations soft and without contours.

Recorded at Elektronmusikstudion EMS Stockholm 2017-2022.
Composed and performed by Laura Naukkarinen with Buchla 200 modular synthesizer, AKG BX20 spring reverb, and voice.
Recording and mixing:  Laura Naukkarinen
Mastering: Alho Audio Mastering
Cover art: Ester Grossi
Layout: Sami Sänpäkkilä

Thank you for your support Elektronmusikstudion Stockholm, Taiteen Edistämiskeskus and Nordic Culture Point.