MERGRIM: Intersect Landscape 2xCD Moph Records / Liquidnote Records

mergrim

MERGRIM: Intersect Landscape  2xCD Moph Records / Liquidnote Records

Mergrim aka: Takahisa Mitsumori hails from Tokyo and has been composing electronica for some time in his native Japan.  Safe to say a lot of what happens in the Far East rarely makes its way over here and that’s a real shame considering what’s on offer.

‘Intersect landscape spans two CD’s of remixes and the original compositions as they were meant to be heard.  Disc one, the remix album, provides a wonderful display of artists I haven’t heard before, tearing apart Mitsumori’s songs with a gusto that has to be believed.  It’s safe to say that the first two tracks alone provide some of the most refreshing takes on IDM I have heard.  Period.

A perfect blend of orchestration, audio damaged piano and fluttering beats, gentle summer pads and wiry electronics, the first chapter in this double release provides everything any self-respecting electronica addict could wish for.  With a variety of emotions covered, this is without doubt one of the more evocative releases I have heard out there, with a fine balance between longing, happiness and sadness; and sometimes all these impressions are let loose all in one track.  The only difficult aspect of reviewing the remix disc as the first instalment is that of course, I am unaware as to how the original tracks balance out.

Composed in unison with percussionist Kazuya Matsumoto at various venues across Japan, these are a collection of truly live performances.  But whilst the tracks have been beautifully disassembled on disc one, these once again do not provide the original songs in studio format.  The yelling audiences took me aback with Jazz infused electronics going haywire and whilst these live actions make me enthusiastic to see Mergrim live (albeit on his own, minus the extra percussion) this all but made me even more hungry to hear the songs without any interference, be that live or altered.

Overall, this is a fantastic release that for me has just been watered down ever so slightly by disc two.  I do urge you to pick this up though, as the mixes of ‘Beautiful Corruption’ and ‘Soft’n Poetry’ are wonders to behold in their own right and worth your hard earned pennies alone.

8.5/10

LYCORISCORIS: From Beyond The Horizon CD Moph Records

lycoriscoris

LYCORISCORIS: From Beyond The Horizon  CD Moph Records

Organic sounding instrumentation composed by digital equipment is not a new idea, but it is one that has been honed to perfection by Tokyo artist Lycoriscoris.  Opening up with the happy go lucky ‘Oar’ this comes to the forefront immediately with jazz infused percussion and bass gradually scratched apart with harmonies and glitches that brought to mind some of the better numbers penned by the highly underrated, Emotional Joystick.

Cello infused Piano provides the backdrop to the fervidly stuttered title track next.  With a second to none production and programming skills worthy of the scenes best, the beautiful Japanese infusions that lay on the edge of the minor chords really tug at the heartstrings.

What truly makes this original for a Westerner is the subtle infusion of child-like female vocalisations (courtesy of Piana) sang in Lycoriscoris’ native tongue, only to be cut and wrapped amongst a bed of glitch-ridden beats and ambience, akin to sun drenched rainfall colliding with your emotionally spent body.  A lot of the sub-textures on ‘Daydreamer’ and indeed on a lot of the songs on this album are reminiscent of the mighty Fennesz; and that’s no mean feat.

Caught off guard, it’s nice to receive albums by a label that I haven’t really heard much from.  With this release and other works sent, it would be impossible for me not to hunt down this artists back catalogue and indeed make the effort to hunt out more of their roster.  For something new to listen to, it might be wise of us to focus our attention on the land of the rising sun, where the range of quality in a lot of cases, surpasses our own.

9/10