Friday, 4 December 2009

Piana - Ephemeral [2005]



Artist: Piana
Album: Ephemeral
Label: Happy

Ephemeral
is Piana's second album and was released on Taylor Deupree's now defunct Happy label, set up as an outlet for unconventional Japanese pop. Eventually, Happy merged with 12k as the output of the labels began to overlap stylistically. As a result of this, Ephemeral has been out of print for some time.

On Ephemeral, I feel that Piana manages to capture a beautiful point somewhere between lush ambient textures and pop melodies; at times, the music is filmic and vivid, and this is augmented by Piana's obviously firm grasp of the sonic capabilities of her software and voice. Her idiosyncratic approach to melody is, for me, what makes this album so special though. Vocal harmonies weave their way through the album in a familiar, yet unconventional way; making the record a rewarding experience even after multiple listenings.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Echolalia



Saturday 12 December at Star & Shadow Cinema, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Featuring solo and collaborative tape performances from

Machinefabriek - NE
Preslav Literary School - DE/UK
Jazzfinger - UK
Poldr - DE/FR
Posset - UK
Jamie Charlton - UK
Benjamin Freeth - UK
WAMA - UK
Nick Williams - UK

Echolalia is a live investigation into cassette culture led by Adam Thomas (Preslav Literary School). Involving public submissions of audio material, a workshop and a publication, the project will climax in a collaborative sound performance on 12th December 2009 at the Star & Shadow Cinema, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

In workshops held before the performance, led by educator & curator Cara Bell-Jones, the artists and a number of selected workshop participants will create a series of unique, tape-based compositions from an archive of rare cassette material. On 12th December, these collaborations will be realised in front of a live audience, culminating in a vast tape orchestra concert exploring obsolete technologies, lost performance techniques and underground artist networks.

Live recordings from the event, commissioned photography by Marion Auburtin, speculative fiction and critical writing on cassette culture will be released in 2010 by experimental UK label NO-FI (home of Sir Richard Bishop, Yellow Swans, Burning Star Core, Emeralds) as a limited edition CD and publication (designed by Supanaught).

Echolalia will use an archive of rare cassette material reclaimed from roadsides, attics and fleamarkets in order to construct new compositions through splicing, looping and overdubbing. You are invited to submit to this ever-growing library of sound - we welcome home-recordings, personal compositions, mixtapes, found-sound, old albums, even broken tapes.

In workshops held before the performance on 11th December, the artists and a limited number of selected workshop participants will create a series of unique, tape-based compositions from an archive of rare cassette material. On 12th December, these collaborations will be realised in front of a live audience, culminating in a vast tape orchestra concert exploring obsolete technologies, lost performance techniques and underground artist networks.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Wonderland Falling Yesterday - Enchanted Landscape Escape [2002]



Artist: Wonderland Falling Yesterday
Album: Enchanted Landscape Escape
Label: Cubic Music

Enchanted Landscape Escape is, thus far, the only release from Katsuhiko Maeda's Wonderland Falling Yesterday side project (Maeda is perhaps better known for his work as World's End Girlfriend). Compared with his other work, Enchanted Landscape Escape is much more subtle, contemplative and, at times, abstract; Maeda lets his idiosyncratic compositional style flourish, but within different premises, allowing the music to flow in a more organic way, holding back on his usually fairly extreme stylistic changes and glitch beats. There are undoubtedly similarities and parallels to be drawn between Wonderland Falling Yesterday and World's End Girlfriend, however, both projects feel that they have been approached in different ways, and with different end-results in mind. While there is still a large amount of stylistic experimentation, Enchanted Landscape Escape comes across as an album much more focused on creating filmic soundscapes, than on pure electronic experimentalism, and as a result, sounds more austere and intimate than anything else ever released by Maeda.

Tracklist:

1) Yesterday's Light Circus
2)Breath Cannon Escape Wall
3) Old Winter Ferris Wheel
4) Lover Teresa Dead Field
5) Falling Marble Chair
6) Sheep Creep
7) Shine Hill in the Palm
8) Sleeping Under the Rainbow
9) Purple Ripple
10) Snow Crystal Lake
11) Rain Prayer
12) Grandfather Clock Heart
13) Good Morning Hellwalker
14) Wonderful Falling Yesterday

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Lovesliescrushing - Bloweyelashwish [1994]



Artist: Lovesliescrushing
Release: Bloweyelashwish
Label: Projekt: darkwave

Lovesliescrushing are a shoegaze band of sorts, consisting of Scott Cortez on Guitar, 4 track tapes and general sonic manipulation, and Melissa Arpin-Duimstra on vocals. This is their first album, and is more or less a showcase of their various different styles, ranging from ethereal pop to pure guitar/tape experimentation and everything in between. Perhaps what is most interesting about this release (and for that matter, most of Cortez's music), is that it is completely devoid of synthesizers, and all of the otherworldly sounds achieved are done so with prepared guitar and a fairly large stack of effects, the only exception being some subtle drum machine parts and of course Melissa's vocals. Of all their releases, Bloweyelashwish is arguably their most diverse, darkest and beautifully ethereal release to date, and shows just how far the guitar can be removed from its original context into something entirely new and fresh.

Tracklist:

1) Babysbreath
2) Teardrop
3) Iwantyou
4) Fur
5) Dizzy
6) Plume
7) Burst
8) Tinkerwench
9) Charm
10) Moinaexquisitewallflower
11) Butterfly
12) Sugaredglowing
13) Glimmer
14) Youreyesimmaculate
15) Crushing
16) Bloweyelashwish
17) Precious
18) Darkglassdolleyes
19) Finger
20) Halo


Discogs
Projekt: darkwave
Download


Wednesday, 12 August 2009

不失者 - Live I [1989]


Artist: Fushitsusha

Album: Live I

Label: PSF


One of Keiji Haino's earlier projects, Fushitsusha created some of the darkest, loudest and most beautiful psychedelic rock of their time. This untitled LP (most commonly called Live I) shows Haino on top form, delivering somewhat more conventional psych-rock, laced with his signature guitar and vocals. this record is Fushitsusha's first LP, released eleven years after their formation in 1978, on the now legendary PSF label. This is really a must have for any fans of Haino, or indeed anyone familiar with the PSF label and their vast catalogue of Japanese psychedelia.


Tracklist:


Disc 1:

1) あっち

2) 暗号

3) すきにやればいい

4) とどかない


Disc 2:

1) ふわふわ

2) なったんじゃない

3) 迷子

4) ここ


PSF Records

Download part one and part two