Rei Nakatani - iydtih
I hear a lot of albums I really like but there's a special category reserved for albums I wish I'd made. Rei Natakani's iydtih, released on 27th of Feb on the excellent Werra Foxma label, is an album I wish I'd made. There's a lineage from the iconic Mille Plateaux Clicks & Cuts series through Raster-Noton to a bunch of abandoned projects on my laptop of (in my case, poorly formed) crystalline micro-rhythms, sparse melodic elements, and occasional synth washes to punctuate the austere grooves with glimpses of humanity. And now to iydtih.
There's a precision to this kind of composition which fascinates me. Take the use of negative space in Wasei, the way the pulses shift around the speakers, the way textures move in and out of the mix, and how the pitches and timbres of the percussive elements create melodies in a track which, on the surface, is devoid of them. It's like magic.
Ki is probably the highlight for me, evoking the symbiosis between Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto with glitching warped piano underpinned by bass pulses and fractured yet insistent rhythms. It's a marvel that the overall effect can be simultaneously so clinical yet utterly emotive. Later, Si seems to sit as a counterpart, with growling bass taking us down a darker sci-fi path, while Omoi amps up the improbable grooves - a party number of sorts, albeit perhaps not one to set our now-dormant dancefloors alight in a conventional sense.
So, Rei Natakani, kudos. Now if I can just work out how you did it...