Review of Mitosis [12k1077]

Textura (CA)

Yamasaki’s Moskitoo follow-up to Drape, her 2007 debut album, features twelve songs marked by dream-like swirls of electronic noises and acoustic sounds (vocals, guitars, xylophones, toys). Though the music is heavily scattered with electronic micro-particles, Moskitoo’s sound is anything but cold and clinical: the album-opening “Wonder Particle” might begin in pronouncedly glitchtronic mode, for example, but it’s humanized when her delicate, breathy voice enters to warm the micro-electronics whirring and clicking in the background; flute and muffled bass tones also appear to give the material a relaxed buoyancy that suggests the warmth of a summer’s stroll.

The insistent flutter of electronic micro-organisms aside, the hushed, subtly treated vocal delivery Yamasaki brings to “Fluctuations” even begs comparison to David Lynch’s favourite chanteuse Julee Cruise. While a pastoral serenade such as “Fragments of Journey” conveys quiet uplift, “Night Hike” presents a less upbeat side of the Moskitoo sound in its melancholy mood and the sadness expressed in the vocal delivery. If there’s one track that perhaps captures the Moskitoo style more than any other, it might be “Velpecula” in the way it merges insectoid micro-noises with airy vocals, acoustic guitar picking, and xylophone accents.

As Mitosis progresses, it becomes clear that the album title wasn’t randomly chosen. The scientific term mitosis refers to the division of a cell into two identical sets of chromosomes, and by extension one detects similarly bifurcated strains within her music: between the human and the machine, the electronic and acoustic, the digital and analogue, cold and warm, and so on (the biological bent suggested by the choice of album title also extends to the track title “Fungi”).

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