Friday, 29 April 2016

AMACCHI – A MATTER OF TIME

Stumbling across something nice and new and unexpected is the point YES/NO. Yeah I write about music I like regardless of how un-new or un-undiscovered it might, but the original point was to find new stuff and write about it, hopefully introduce some people to something fresh to listen to.

And with that word – FRESH – in mind, this is 'a matter of time' by amacchi. Who or what is amacchi? Apart from a somebody that makes music, I can't tell you much else. But with freshness being the keyword now, let's leave history and backstory and every other story and focus on the song – this fresh, fresh song.

From its delicious and raw acoustic guitar sounds rippling throughout this instrumental track, sounding as if a guitar were being plucked and played right in the room with you – complete with outdoor sounds of maybe children playing or something... so maybe its better to say that instead of being in the room with you, you're outside, wherever these sounds were lifted from, chilling and enjoying the time passing by in such gentle ways.

☟☟☟☟☟☟☟☟

So yeah, from that, to the wonky synth decorations, breathy and urgent vocal samples whispering in your ear, to the plink-plonking beeps that gradually grow fizzier and fizzier, leading us into a final section of the track dominated by the slow undulating rumble of sub-bass, all of its ornamentations – and that's not even mentioning the luscious beat with its hi-hat skifflings and grittily crunching clap-snare-thing.

FRESH was the word and is the word and it is closely followed by beautiful and moving in a small, everyday way – not to say that the song is everyday, but rather that what it seems to be celebrating... joy, well not joy (note the slightly end-of-the-day feeling) ... the contented awareness of everything around you: simply BEING. It takes cuteness and mixes it with that vague sense of the limits of being alive, mixes lightness with deeply embedded seriousness. That's what I'm taking from it anyway. A matter of time indeed.


  • Seems amacchi is part of the Fan Service Collective, so you should probably check em out if you liked this.


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Sunday, 3 April 2016

水曜日のカンパネラ –『シャクシャイン』

Sunday, April 3rd. Hiroshima. Walking around Tower Records, listening to their music selections, noticed a Listening station dedicated to someone I'd never heard of before. Listened. The pull on my liking mechanism or my affection neurones or like whatever was INSTANTANEOUS AND LASTING. LASTING ENOUGH TO COME BACK TO THE APARTMENT AND WRITE THIS.

The name of the someone is Wednesday Campanella or WEDNESDAY CAMPANELLA or 水曜日のカンパネラ [Suiyōbi no Kanpanera]. It is made up of frontlady KOM_I and producer Hidefumi Kenmochi and director Dir.F, whose videowork gives the duo's kinetic music a very very worthy visual equivalent (see below). [Another great video is the one for 『ディアブロ』 ]

and song that captured and arrested my senses about well a few hours ago is called 『シャクシャイン』 or 'Shakushain'. Shakushain was an Ainu (indigenous people of northern Japan and more notably of Hokkaidō, northernmost island of Japan, which was formerly known as Ezo) leader, involved in a conflict which became known as Shakushain's Revolt. Trade between the Ainu and Tokugawa-ruled Japan favoured the latter, Ezo having been brought under de facto Japanese control centuries earlier, and was managed by the Matsumae clan. Shakushain led a brief war in 1669 against the Matsumae, and other specially appointed forces sent to bolster the region threatened by a united Ainu, before surrendering. After peace deals, the Ainu generals celebrated. That same night they, inclduing Shakushain himself, were assassinated by the Matsumae. This was one of the only instances of large-scale resistance against Japanese rule by the Ainu. Hiistorryy lesssooooooooooonnn~~~~~~~~

This is interesting because 水曜日のカンパネラ's song is wordularly an ode to Hokkaidō (the video as you'll see is a sightularly ode) and its modern delights. It's interesting because the beat is brash and polished and heavy on the bass and pops in your ears peppered with a bristling hail of percussion, with satisfying cymbal crashes and awesomely expansive and rich handclaps exploding on occasion. It's interesting because strings and simple melody crescendo in parts carrying a somewhat melancholy undertone beneath its tide of feeling, a part of which – an organlike sound – continues into the second verse, where the first was bare of instrumentation bar the booming beat and KOM_I's rapid fire layered softly-spoken rapping; it's interesting because the song presents a quirky beat-based modernity alongside unpretentious and swelling heartfelt instrumentation, two distinctly different things melded skilfully and, more important, very enjoyably.

☟☟☟☟☟☟☟☟




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Monday, 29 February 2016

BENJHA – ΣALAD DAYS

'Σalad Days' is a four month-old song that popped up as recommended on SoundCloud when I was writing about something else that is more than a week old and I could not just sit here and hear the sumptuous sounds of it without putting some words onto the internet, sending something out into the nethersphere. It is a track by someone called Benjha who may or may not be based in Texas. I've now been just sitting here with the song on repeat going around and around and around and taking me with it to wherever it may be going, to space, through walls, floating just a few feet above the ground and wafting home like a tired ghost through commuter streets and suburban spaces. I'm there, I'm fully there.

There is a sense of the spooky in this track but it's nothing to get scared about because the track is more delicious than mere atmosphere conjuring; it's full of textures and tastes that are undeniable and that swirl into your brain like weed smoke and there's nothing you can do except shrug and get the fuck high with it running through your nerves and thoughts like a lazy lust. What does Benjha do that's so nice?

This musicmaker carves out a huge wonky beat, jingling and crunching with cascades of percussion, crackling with the familiar smell of vinyl and off-beat hip-hop tint to it, rough and heavy guitar sounds decorating a thunderous beginning, where also synth chords wash into the mix, a soft cosmic cavalcade, then rich cymbals begin to ding ding ding ding... a woodblock click that reverbs so far into the swirling decorative void of the song... a slow groovesome bass that evolves into a bending foundation of blooping bass made the whole track reminiscent of a much more chilled version of this battle music from Earthbound.

A piercing synth lead lances up and soars, melting like a bleeding rainy sunset sky and all streetlights and strangers' eyes downcast as you make your way places. The synth bulges and buzzes abrasive and thick sometimes, with other ornamentations coming from crashing cymbals and clapping hands, the beat thickets with noises, it is alive with sonic observations, a stream of sound that is a microcosm in itself. And then it ends in a slow unnerving smog, like the realisation of a ghost that there is no living left but only ghostly journeys.




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