Album Review

Anoice – “Black Rain, The” – [Important Records]

Thurston Hunger   3/10/2013   A Library, CD

To me this album feels like riding in an invisible bubble high
in the sky, drifting over land at night and hearing both actual
found sound and pure emotion transformed into sound from the
lives below. You could have told me Anoice was one man assembling
music and I would have believed it, but it is actually at least a
quintet with Takahiro Kido, Yuki Murata, Utaka Fujiwara, Takahiro
Matsue and Tadashi Yoshikawa. Kido composes the lion’s share of
the pieces on this 2012 release. There is an operatic motif used
to open the album and it returns during “Finale.” At other times,
samples of crowd roars and rain hushes are mixed in as well. However
the root of the composed sound is gorgeous dark chamber work: piano
polished and resonant, elegiac strings. “Tipsy Dance” feels like
looking for a cab while listening to Bohren and Der Club of Gore.
Many melodies are plaintiff and pretty, e.g. the sailing piano of
“Drops” traced by dolphins with violins in its wake. But that is
followed by “The End of Something” with its questioning chords and
a muted howl or air siren. Cinematic ambience meets amazing
restraint, and provides a consistent listen that breathes
well from first to last track.

-Thurston Hunger

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