Sachi Kobayashi - Damage
Released: January 27
In her first release in over a year and her premier on the Noci Miste label, Tokyo-based electronic musician Sachi Kobayashi takes on a dark and harrowing tale through one man's struggle with mental illness. While the music certainly stands on its own, it also is accompanied by a short animated video of a particular style popular in Japan. The odd cutesiness of the video starkly contrasts with the sonic content in a somewhat jarring way but I highly recommend watching it at least once.
The story of the album is that of a middle aged man suffering from a long-term mental illness who runs out of the medication he has been taking for years. The initial tone of this story is set by the opening track "Bad Feeling" via some off-kilter oscillating drones and a discomforting alarm-like warble that rises and falls throughout the track. The atmosphere of things spiraling out of control is carried on throughout the rest of the album until we get to the end. As the album ends, "Life Without You Is Boring" caps of the entire episode with something of a upbeat note with a faint rhythm and light playful synths. Its a rather captivating album about a subject that resonates with me personally, perhaps more than makes me comfortable.