Longform Editions 3


Yamaneko | Aquarius Echo Chamber
Cruel Diagonals |Monolithic Nuance
Matthewdavid’s Mindflight | Marimbza
Midori Hirano |Improvisation For Piano, Summer 2018

Longform Editions (DL)

This is edition three for Australia’s Longform Editions founded by Andrew Khedoori and Mark Gowing (they also were instrumental with the Preservation imprint) which is “an ongoing series creating a space of musical discovery for extended, immersive music pieces from around the world.” Four new releases have surfaced for Autumn as they have for the past two quarters. This block includes LA’s Matthewdavid’s Mindflight and Cruel Diagonals (Megan Mitchell), Berlin-based Japanese artist Midori Hirano, and UK artist Yamaneko. Each work is a singular lengthy composition (has the label name) ranging in length from nineteen minutes to just under one hour. This edition is not yet online, but shall be released in the coming weeks. In the meantime, check out the link above for their previous works. Here we go, one by one….


Cruel Diagonals | Monolithic Nuance

We start this series with the sweet drifting voice on Monolithic Nuance by Cruel Diagonals. The voice here is processed and layered without any accompaniment at first except a single long note. Slowly as these angelic vocals drift, turn and soar, grumbly electronics enter and stay at low range. It’s an elegant melody that slowly dissipates to the grind of muted industrialism. This goes into quiet spaces and awkward silences but there is always some kind of agitation, something like a ship’s bough on calm waters. Softly, suddenly things start to evolve into a bit of a surveying rover bot of sorts. This is one for headphones so you will not miss any of the finer nuances. And as the gentle yet somewhat timid voice levitates back into the scene the dichotomy of noises finds a thin balance. The ‘thwap’ of retro electronics is curious within the mix though she sets up an atmosphere of small spectacles in a setting that otherwise floats.

LE009_Matthewdavid_sMindflight_ Marimbza_CoverMatthewdavids_MIndflight

Matthewdavid’s Mindflight | Marimbza

Right off this is an intriguing, vibrant mix of field recordings of seagulls and encrusted sound effects. Marimbza has this intoxicating, multilayered feel with crystalline marimbas that swirl and dance like an animated magic spell in slow motion. The mix goes from clean to fuzzy, and repeats, but with each iteration there are slight new things to notice about the way the piece evolves physically. Certain glassy sounds are revealed, others are obfuscated, and the way in which he’s enveloping all these bits and pieces is deployed in what sounds like white caps upon the ocean. I’m thinking there are vibes being used within this beaded twinkling, somewhat austere, production. It’s really a work that sculpts sound, with a dimensional effect. It has some in common with a Jamaican dub without any assimilated trappings. As the record progresses he retains all the same sounds, but arranges them in clever ways that don’t seem clever, in fact after a while the sense of synesthesia starts to kick into this trance-inducing piece.

LE011_Midori_Hirano_ImprovisationForPianoInSummer2018_CoverMidori Hirano

Midori Hirano | Improvisation For Piano, Summer 2018

What starts off a simple piano intro opens into a circular hollow left by various repetitive keystrokes, countered by slower singular gestures that begin an abstract melody. Hirano’s playing has a dedicated, slightly soft veneer. It’s post-Glass, with a sweeter side. The interesting crux here is between the moments when she’s playing in a minimal fashion and suddenly we are drawn into a luxe consonance that plays on traditional piano trills. It’s almost as though she’s sharing her personal story, perhaps it’s one where breaking from tradition is something that can become critical fodder and personal consternation? Whatever the backstory, this improvisation is rife with engaging themes that play on tremendous skills that showcase few bounds. Even towards then end Hirano uses certain pauses, like tiptoes dancing in the light, that have a certain wry sensibility. This half hour is the antithesis of romancing an instrument in a voice that understands the most subtle of coloration and its accumulated vibration.

LE012_Yamaneko_ AquariusEchoChamber_CoverYamaneko

Yamaneko | Aquarius Echo Chamber

From the title we might be expecting lots of reverb and delay, but as this piece opens with it’s softened synths and ambient light it’s unmistakably ear porn for the masses. What a gorgeous, shapeless, wide-birth setting to open up to. In some ways this reminds me of a distant second cousin of someone like British Columbian sound bender Loscil, but it has it’s own sensitive markings. It’s just lush, like gazing upon quickly lapping waves from a vantage point with great altitude. The mix uses harmonic drone with an undercurrent of white noise. It’s as though he dipped an entire symphony in honey and they continue to play as the translucent coating drips from their shoulders in slow motion. The volume grows with additional crackling and dappled effects midway through, but this dulcet aural canvas is fluid and dreamlike. In the end he employs a reversal technique that gingerly pulls back the edges, leaving only a glowing echo.



Check out Longform Editions.

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