Takuroku Shooting Gallery

Tuesday 14 July 2020

Takuroku put out a batch of cool new stuff each week and I want to do them justice but I’m lazy. Will get more detailed on some of them later but for now:

Astral Social Club – ACID BARF. Neil Campbell dishes out a beat that just won’t quit despite it being subjected to every synth-pop indignity under the sun. The perverse will to endure becomes a gag that’s beaten into the ground and then beaten some more until it gets funny again.

Aylu – Frida. It starts out more normal than Astral Social Club but somewhere along the way it slips into madness and random goofiness made all the more winning after the straight beats have revealed themselves to be po-faced pop. Second guest appearance by pets.

Cam Deas – Rhythmic Landscapes. The blurb namedrops David Tudor’s Rainforest, which got my hopes up too high. In fact, it’s a nice set of field recordings of birds mixed in with overlapping patterns of percussion sounds. After a while it sounds too much like being on a verandah out in the country, sitting too close to the windchimes with a killer hangover.

Floris Vanhoof – Falala Falderiere Falderaldera. Nifty phasing electronics that jitter back and forth appealingly, interspersed with a frog pond that sounds just as electronic but isn’t, probably. It’s better than the title and I’m not dissing the electronics when I wish the frog track was longest.

Johnny R. Spykes – Less Effective Rhetoric. Plenty of action, but while sax and harsh electronics can be great fun in a pub they’re hell on the home listener. Most extreme is the mismatched stereo separation, except for one skronk recorded in low-bit mono.

Kazuhisa Uchihashi – Breathing Vegetables. Plenty of action, but at least we can have as much fun as Uchihashi is with obsessive pitch-bending, bouncy one-string guitar action and ditzy loops. The manic glee is infectious. There is a daxophone.

SHLIMP WARC – THGIE DRSOW. Acid Mothers Temple veterans Tatsuya Yoshida and Makoto Kawabata dust off some leftovers from a trio album only without Richard Pinhas, which helps brighten things up a little. Kerrazy drumming with ironic 80s guitar squalls and random keyboard barrages. Party like it’s 1994.

Naima Karlsson – [Vital Organs]: I. Heart Protector. A mere fifteen minutes, but one of the most substantial releases so far. A genuinely hypnotic piece for organ and electronics that retunes the listener’s awareness simply by breathing.

Ecka Mordecai – Critique + Prosper. A cellist and vocalist, Mordecai produces a set of personal recordings that aren’t so much introspective as self-possessed, letting the listener find their own space inside her sounds. I like to think this album was also made in a shed.

Otomo Yoshihide – 「Small Stone」. Frenetic atonal guitar soloing that unexpectedly cools into a clear-eyed reflection on the nature of protest, from the independence of public prosecutors in Japan to the independence of Hong Kong from China. A surprisingly moving sonic essay on the anxious balance between peace and vigilance.