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Yuki
Aida + Tomotsugu Nakamura: Echóchroma (Audiobulb)

There’s
something turn-of-the-century about the experimental sonic
collaborations between sound artists Nakamura and Aida. By that I
mean the sounds of Echóchroma would feel right at home alongside
many of the more software-based explorations of the time, whether the
dense compilations of Mille Plateaux and their Clicks + Cuts series
or more singular personalities like Markus Popp (Oval) around the
late 90s / early 00s… this may sound like damning praise, but it
does sound sort of nostalgic for an era of music not too recently
past. These are shuffling, slippery processed tracks that all segue
into one another as a continuous body of work.

The sounds that Aida
generated using MAX/MSP, along with additional field recordings by
Haruo Okada, gave Nakamura a foundation to work from, cutting apart
and editing the final results that feel shifty, glitchy, and often
unpredictable. Occasionally one cut stands apart from the rest, such
as the longer and more patient stride of “Hepta,” but generally
speaking Echóchroma is perhaps best experienced as a whole. “Mono”
plays like any of the more cyclical ambient cuts from seminal Oval
(ca. Systemisch, perhaps), and its digitally degraded pads and tons
that sharply enter and disappear, abruptly cut and pasted against one
another, also encourage comparisons to turn of the century acts like
early Sutekh, Neina, or even early Fennesz. This is largely because
of the process involved in making and assembling Echóchroma, though
its particular flavor is nuanced and not so easily compared, despite
the more obvious elements on the surface. Fans of DSP manipulation
and electronic experimentalism will likely enjoy Echóchroma, which,
despite not necessarily offering a whole lot that’s genuinely new to
my ears, is a handsome take on those techniques and sounds in a way
that feels fully realized.

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