Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Dance & Electronic, World Music, Jazz, Special Interest, New Age, Pop
Listen to Samples
Aether and Aer
waldglyde | Sydney, New South Wales Australia | 06/12/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Classical Greeks thought of two layers of atmosphere - the lower 'aer', and the higher 'aether'- and Japanese band Onna-Kodomo combine the two in their strikingly minimalist debut, 'Syuuku'. By this I mean that where all great art needs some combination of opposites - notably earth and fire - this Japanese trio combine the more readily breathable with the more rarefied of insubstantial airiness. The opening track - one can scacely speak of songs, but of organic soundscapes - is titled 'Echo', and sounds like Elizabeth Fraser of The Cocteau Twins singing, or breathing, in her sleep. The compositions are barely there, produced by a voice that hardly registers. The echoing strum of guitars and electric violins, rather like the aeolian harp that wind played over, provide a bed of shifting strings like the currents of the ocean - or of the air - with Yuko Hasegawa's pristine voice floating upon them. Her voice is barely ambulent, and that is how I would describe this work, not 'ambient', but 'just-ambulent' - music that registers on the fringes of consciousness, like a shifting play of light on a wall, something one would usually barely notice. This is not to say that Ms Hasegawa's voice is insubstantial, simply controlled. Nor are the wordless songs, to my ears,, self-indulgent aural doodling, though they would doubtlessly sound that way to many; they are sighs and whispers; cries lost on the wind. The effect is not unlike The Dirty Three's beautiful 'Ocean Songs', but played in the distance, and coming to one intermittantly on the movements of the breeze.Even the title of the album is beautifully minimalist - the last track, 'Syuuka', provides the title, and is subtitled, perhaps translated, as 'The Last Song'. Indeed, since Onna-Kodomo have the last word on understated minimalism, it is only fitting that their album is 'the last song'; short of an artist like (fellow Japanese) Sachiko M, this is as etherial as 'songs' can become and still register on the ear. They certainly linger in the mind's ear, like feeling itself -tremulous, but all the more real for that."