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|23 May 2013||
Shotahirama / Ducerey Ada Nexino - Just Like Honey
In recent years we've encountered quite a few Japanese electronic labels that push forth uniquely shaped (and sometimes shapeless) sound—most of the music that originates from such movements of free-thinking artists is hard to describe, evaluate or put a label on. Whether or not it's a positive tendency can only be left to listener's preferences and personal tastes, and because of that it's hard to talk about Shotahirama's imprint Signal Dada while staying genuinely objective. For a while, his imprint has been a home for his personal experiments that he sometimes lovingly brands "Conceptual Crap", but thankfully, he decided to alter this tendency. Thankfully, because the collaboration of Shotahirama and Ducerey Ada Nexino titled Just Like Honey turned out to be a short, but certainly not a transient split release with two memorable works, that, while remaining fundamentally different, managed to complement each other as the two parts of the whole, much as the bright sky and the dark waves on a marine painting are able to please the eye owing to stark contrast between them.
In 120 BPM-paced Baby You're Just You, Shotahirama at first plays with sizzling high-passed noise and tender percussion in a manner of a dub techno piece, several times suddenly turning the volume to complete silence when it is least expected and slowly bringing the loudness up to subtly higher levels... for about half the duration; the second part engages prominent, but not openly aggressive kicks, which stumble over and almost run into one another, accompanied by right channel-leaning, multiplying metallic reverberations, frequent sweeps of noise and microsegments of male and female vocals formed from syllables that ultimately don't add up into any coherent words. In spirit of experimentalism, Baby You're Just You comes to a full stop rather abruptly and seemingly a minute away from where it should have ended, leaving the listener wondering whether the track was interrupted due to issues with playback or if that was indeed Shotahirama's intent; while the touch is refreshing, we can't help but think that it might have driven some CD owners to make an attempt at returning their copy to the store and asking for an undamaged one, or at the very least to scratch their heads pondering it.
Part 2 of Just Like Honey features Ducerey Ada Nexino and his Aerial Ambitions. There was once a point when the steady elements of dance music meant repeating drumlines over 4 bars, 16, 32; at some later point this began to mean stripping down percussion and rhythm to their essentials, capturing their primal effects, and letting the development of everything surrounding come to the forefront on center stage. This is the case even today. Modern techno, for example, shows in its own way far more willingness to modify its basic texture and quality, even if this means that using these techniques will bring it ever-closer to oblivion, to the dynamic void: thus the kick becomes a broken pulse, the bassline a humming rumble, high-hats and snares tight, shaped packets, the melody but a faint suggestion within a sonic ether—and yet nothing is lost for all this change, neither drive nor emotion.
Immense fullness, shifting tectonics, a singing landscape, the harsh weight of unfulfilled desire and the warm rush of chemicals—blackness descending and perspective narrowing: before one only flashes of things, their passing mingling them with others. Take that into account when gazing at the deceptive cover: in their frozen photographic form, city lights and empty streets sit easily, serenely, just like the melancholic girl inhabiting the scene. For us, who live this scene as life, that image allows, perhaps, a certain order; but to feel what we feel and gain some knowledge of the direction of our longing, there is Aerial Ambitions, which portrays quite clearly our suspension in an endless miasma; for, certainly, there is nowhere else for us to be.
Words by rhetor & goro.
Release Type: EP
Release Date: 23 May 2013
Release Format: CD
Record Label • Catalog: Signal Dada • SIGNAL007