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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
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+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
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+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
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+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
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44.1 kHz Archive

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Nobukazu Takemura
Water's Suite

Keeping up with the most prolific boffinistic men-as-islands in the out-electro realm can often take on the feeling of a sort of sport — a treasure hunt, a game casting you as the hard-boiled detective on the case of on-the-sly releases dotting the release sheets of the most obscure houses of audiology. For those suckers who've tried to keep up with genial Japanese gent Nobukazu Takemura's increasingly scattered discography, there's been plenty of browser-based legwork, with the last year finding a couple candy-colored seven-inches from French fashionistas Bottrop Boy dropped at awkward times in the most limited supply. Along with, of course, the re-release on compact disc of two of his Thrill Jockey 12s, along with the pressing of a new Thrill Jockey single, "Mimic Robot." If that weren't enough, along comes Water's Suite, something largely resembling Takemura's eighth (I think) album, and issued by tiny Australian experimental label Extreme. Ditching anything resembling pop overtones, the album concentrates on Tak's affinity for arrhythmic digital fits and starts, coughing and burping its way through lengthy exercises in microtones, tones whose constant motion sounds almost like a swarm of insects feasting on speaker wire. The album is an album-long exercise in wringing out sounds that sound like processed digital signals but are instead Tak fucking with and fucking up pre-programmed MIDI data (at which he's proud to point on the record sleeve), with occasional abstracted grabs of "melodic" sound — a beat of Aki Tsuyuko's voice, a traditional tonal keyboard chord — punched in as MIDI data ahead of time, like some blindfolded hope. But the melodies never become anything more than intermittent teases throughout Water's Suite. Unlike what you receive with his more pop-like workings, this makes for an album that bears little of Takemura's familiar good nature or warm humor. The innate beauty of his artistic craft still comes through, though, even if it's obscured by diffuse layers of esoteric experimentalist obscurity.

by Anthony Carew

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