Review of Tasogare: Live In Japan [12k2019]

Headphone Commute (US)

There’s just something about Japan. Don’t you think? From its culture, where future meets the past, to its literature, where dream-state meets the present, to its music, where abstract meets the concrete. 12k is among the labels to feature more than a few of our favorite Japanese musicians. Among them, appearing on this compilation, are Minamo, Sawako + Hofli, and Moskitoo. Joined by Australia’s Solo Andata and the label’s founder, Taylor Deupree, this five track release collects the works recorded live at two temples in Tokyo – Komyuji and  Jiyu Gakuen Myonichi-kan. I’m not sure if the night crickets are part of Sawako’s field recordings, or are simply picked up by the microphone, but the overall sonic experience transports me to the hot and humid nights of Japan, where the western traveler awaits his mind to beat the jet-lag. Sawako‘s lovely voice and Takashi Tsuda’s (aka Hofli) soft guitar playing only enhances the overall experience. Sanae Yamasaki, recording under her Moskitoo moniker, twists her abstract pop into live experimental circuit bends. At the center of the compilation is a seventeen minute gem by Paul Fiocco and Kane Ikin, known to the faithful readers of these pages as Solo Andata. Steering clear of most software effects, the duo uses field recordings, found objects, and organic textures to create a deep, droning, drowning, and slightly unsettling environment, worthy of Japan’s embedded relationship with spirits in every single object. This piece alone deserves to be a single, but on the compilation you get one more – a live recording from Taylor Deupree. With his lo-fi treatments and gentle organic pads, Deupree eases us into the early morning, wrapping this collective collaboration with a fuzzy sonic kilt. Tasogare: Live In Tokyo is yet another important document in the 12k archives, preserving a live performance that may never be duplicated again.

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