Those of us who peruse the web looking for music share a common frustration: finding music worth listening to. That’s an important reason why netlabelism exists: to hopefully save the readers/listeners precious time they might otherwise waste by fast forwarding through countless labels and albums of music hardly worth the effort.
For me, it’s the “experimental/ambient” genre that for one reason or another tends to leave me wondering. 99% of the time, I give netaudio tagged as experimental/ambient a complete miss. But sometimes I’m unaware of the genre and stumble upon a link and have a listen, and this week I’m very happy with what I found… at least partially.
Kayaka is a Japanese-born, European artist with a flare for the experimental. She also performs live and really enjoys the use of field recordings and sound collage. Her album Silence Walk, off the Zero Moon netlabel, is comprised mostly of captured sound from the Amazon (in Ecuador, to be more specific). The first track – as with most of this album – is mere sound collage, a day in the life of traveling where Kayaka is hearing new and old sounds again for the first time. Even the familiar sounds of water seem to intrigue her as it is used heavily on “Twice a midwife” and “Just let your flesh be eaten” (the latter being a reference to piranha?). “Colibri,” the last track, contains samples of hummingbirds feeding near her microphone while flutes pulse in and fade out in the distance.
But for all the experimentation, the one gem of this album is the second track, “They danced the Armadillo.” It is like nothing else on the album and stands out for its keen rhythms and arrangement. Kayaka also adds instrumentation of her own which to me is reminiscent of the dual-playing saxophone lead from the once famous band Morphine. I could do without much of Silence Walk in my listening queue except for “They danced the Armadillo.” Without this track, the entire album is mostly a miss for me, but I’m certainly glad I came across it when I did.
Kayaka – They danced the Armadillo
Link to the Release Page [zero145]