Aoki Takamasa + Tujiko Noriko – 28

Friendly and gentle clicks, cuts, shimmers, glitches and the very warm, feminine voice of Tujiki Noriko. In no way this sums up the accomplishment of the two artists, both of Japanese origin, but these are just some of the ingredients: the whole is much, much more than the sum of the parts The mood Noriko evokes with her dreamy singing, reminds me of a Sigur Ros-alike atmosphere. The singing really has a connection with the vocals by Yonsi. Her voice breeds calmness and sounds very natural and pure, since it is not affected by theatrical or misplaced arty attempts. It’s also the kind of voice you would expect belonging to a very beautiful woman, and it does.

Damn, this record is chilling! I have no idea what Tujiko Noriko sings about, since most tracks are sung in Japanese. Maybe it’s about floating weightless around on some warm, sunny day; or about laying in a pleasant dreamstate in a very protected and comforting area. All this is encompassed by slow, low beat structures and high-pitched noises of all kinds. This reminds me of the Mille Plateaux clicks-and cuts artists, but ‘28’is not as minimal as most of them. Alongside it there are moody repetitive melodies present, full and warm tones, that create a nice equilibrium between (in essence) cold technical noises, and warming ambience. Sometimes the minimal techno-style is abandoned and replaced by a more trip-hop kind of groove. I would say the first half of ‘28’ is more trip-hoppish than the second.

I’m terribly impressed by this release of very high quality. For me; I’ll check out their earlier works and let you know about it.

artist: Aoki Takamasa + Tujiko Noriko
label: FatCat Records
details: 8 tracks, 46 min, 2005