Shinkiro – Deep blue

I have this album on the not so productive Athanor label for a few months now and I have played it several times. Nevertheless I could not bring myself to write a review about it sooner. Often that’s not a good sign, but in this case I find it simply hard to describe this intriguing debut release by Shinkiro adequately. In broad terms the music by this artist from Osaka, Japan can be described as ritualistic ambient.

The mysterious soundscapes consist of deep sound layers, subtle percussions and sparse (female) voices. It’s dark and dreamy at the same time. It could be a hallucitating soundtrack to a cult film situated at the bottom of the deepest sea. I’m reminded of the more abstract work of Die Form or the aquatic releases on Spectre. A slow composition like ‘Deep calls’ has something suffocating, like you’re desperate to get to the surface for air. ‘Into the darkness’ comes more to the forefront with prominent ritual percussion.

“Deep blue” is certainly recommended to lovers of demanding ambient music. As a special treat the first 500 copies of the album come with an extra mcd. This bonus contains four remixed tracks by one of the most interesting ritual acts around, the Belgian Hybryds. As you could expect the ritual aspects are even more dominant here, with a darker sound. Especially ‘Still alive’ has hypnotizing qualities.

artist: Shinkiro
label: Athanor
details: CD + MCD, 2005 [ATNR 027 / 028]