New York/Tokyo based Sawako is a musician, software designer, and multimedia artist whose multi-disciplinary works intermix and pollenate her music with inspiration ranging from nature, science, academia and poetic motion. Following releases on Anticipate and And/Oar, Bitter Sweett is Sawako’s 2nd release on 12k after the critically acclaimed Hum (12k1035) in 2005. Her music is fragile and intimate, delicate, ephemeral and resonant. Bitter Sweet is unmistakably Sawako but finds itself moving into much, much deeper territory than her previous works. Building on her past forays into experimental pop, she uses low and mid-frequency drones and soft, melodic highlights to shape beds of stripped-down, shifting into hypnotic and very linear tracks that fill the space they exist. These gentle movements are punctuated by field recordings and acoustic instrumentation with cello provided by Jacob Kirkegaard and guitar by Radiosonde and Ryan Francesconi who also co-write two of the pieces on the album. In what has become a bit of a signature, Sawako lends her own voice to the ending lullaby “A Last Next.” These combination produce rich results.
Bitter Sweet‘s diffuse and hazy soundscaping is Sawako’s most mature work to date, relying less on her previous child-like melodies while remaining feminine and tender. She has come into her own after having established herself for a number of years as a New Yorker where she has tirelessly performed, studied and created as an important member of the city’s electronic music community.
Bitter Sweet is packaged in a 6-panel digipack with photography throughout by Brooklyn-based artist and photographer Maki Kaoru.