Following the release of his work as part of the electro-acoustic quartet Minamo on 12k (12k1031, 2005) and the proto-pop outing under his new moniker Filfla (Plop, 2005), Fourcolor (Keiichi Sugimoto) is back with his second release on 12k, Letter of Sounds. His previous work, Air Curtain (12k1029) was a critical success selling out the first pressing in little over one month.
On Air Curtain, Fourcolor explored new directions, building upon delicate, implied rhythmic structures moving away from the strictly drone based material on his debut cd Water Mirror(Apestaartje, 2004). With Letter of Sounds Sugimoto pushes his sound even further by bringing the rhythms more to the foreground and taking influences from his previous, more pop-based work, as Filfla. The album uses many dominant rhythmic structures such as on the opener “02” which couples catchy guitar harmonic hooks with sliced melodic beats or the beautiful “Rowboat” in which Sugimoto collaborates with long-time friend Naoko Sasaki/Piana (Happy) using a variety of instrumentation and vocals. Similarly, a majority of the work on Letter of Soundss finds itself working around tight, syncopated micro-rhythms.
Of course Letter of Sounds is not without its delicate undercurrents and warm, stretched-out, whispy tones that have become signature to Sugimoto’s sound (the gorgeous finale “Frame”), but his desire for a more up-front and structured approach continues the evolution from a style he has mastered into new, more challenging territory, and expands his palette as an artist.
as Fourcolor’s cd Air Curtain (12k1029, 2004) was the commercial introduction of the revised 12k logo, Letter of Sounds launches a new, more streamlined digipack design in celebration of 12k’s upcoming 10-year anniversary. In addition to the changes in layout the new digipacks feature a matte varnish which allows for richer colors and sharper lines than the previous digipacks.