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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
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ 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
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ 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
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

44.1 kHz Archive

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Yoshimi And Yuka
Flower With No Color

And, so, thee high heroines of sly J-pop shenanigans let their hair all the way down on this heroic hook-up, eking out an improvised environmental soundtrack that finds the free-ranging players reveling in the free-rein of a raining wilderness. It's ambient gear, for sure, but, saying such, I've suddenly got self-conscious about using the word "ambient," what with its abuse at the hands of synth-stroking money-makers and everything, said rock-genre term now only suited for stickering new-age flotation-tank synth-Muzak. But, this here collaboration between Honda — the former Cibo Matto songsmith and Sean Lennon love-interest — and the mighty Yoshimi P-We — of Boredoms/OOIOO/Free Kitten/Psycho-Baba/UFO Or Die/etc fame — is "ambient" in the truest sense of the word, luring listeners down a winding, wandering path into an environment rendered through sound. It is, in this, specifically not the kind of record you might expect from this pair, although, once you discover their love-in was recorded in improvised fashion over a couple days on Mt. Ikoma in Nara, and a couple days in nearby Osaka, it starts to make more sense. Its contents are less about songwriting, more about painting landscapes that sound absolutely nothing like what one would consider "soundscapes." Flower With No Color finds Yoshimi and Yuka belting out bizarre environs through bashing at all manner of musical trinkets. Largely constructed from the familiar ambient tools of twee keytone and cheesy "exotic" synth presets, the disc, nonetheless, manages to sound totally psychedelic, with collected percussionary sound, the pair's wailed vocals, and a preponderance of sampled field recordings stirring up a wigged-out spirit. That the location sounds are of buzzing insects, bizarre bird-calls, barking dogs, and assorted tones from the top of the mountain could relate back to that idea of new-age ambient-Muzak; but, rest assured, there is nothing remotely reassuring about this assemblage of environmental and synthesizer sound. Yoshimi & Yuka are working with capricious spirit here, and the results are rarely less than bizarre; their unhinged, unkempt, uncombed, un-shoed traipse through twittering, intermittent improvisation turns the safe/comfortable notions of New-Age-ism on their ear.

by Anthony Carew

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