Missed Music

Music you didn’t know you needed…until now.

Challenging but appealing experimental music from Anata Wa Sukkari Tsukarete

‘Sweetness and Light is an experimental EP from Anata Wa Sukkari Tsukarete (Japanese for “You are completely tired”), a multi-national trio comprised of artists Gnomefoam, Bunny, and _. From the opening moments of the first track, “Forsake,” you know it is going to challenge your ear. A synthetic voice (a la Stephen Hawking) and cricket noises greet you before the song is taken over by heavily echoing noises and arrhythmic percussion. “Forsake” never gets easier, remaining mostly noise and atmosphere.

You are completely tired.

You are completely tired.

The second track, “Cataract” is a bit more musical, with keyboards and vocals picking out a meandering melody while scratching percussion and buzzing guitar keep things from getting too grounded.

‘Sweetness and Light’ is like this throughout. Anata Wa Sukkari Tsukarete are uninterested in traditional music forms, beyond how they can use and distort them to serve entirely new purposes. They compose pretty melodies to use as backdrops to atonal sounds and use traditional instruments mainly to twist their voices to new purposes. The effect can be haunting and even beautiful, but don’t expect to put this disc on with a roomful of friends and have everyone enjoy it – unless you and your friends are under the influence of some heavy psychedelics.

The first movement of the third track, “Bearskins,” features recited poetry and some demented keyboard work until it gives way to a more traditional New Age sounding synthesized song. It still shifts rapidly between musical sounds and effects until the third movement, which is a dreamier and even more melodic – beautiful, actually – than the rest of the song. This 8 ½ minute song is my favorite on ‘Sweetness and Light.’

The fourth track, “Sweetness and Light” is mostly solemn piano and distorted vocals. The melody is pretty and the vocals give way to effects as the song progresses, adding color and depth to the track. The lyrics that I could understand were dark, but it was still a pleasant and pretty song.

The closing track, “My Drive” uses an out-of-tune piano to start us out on a jarring, atonal note. Whispered, distorted vocals are sometimes accompanied by and sometimes obscured by synthesized effects. It definitely sets a mood, but the track is slow and not much happens, making it probably my least favorite.

It took a couple times through before I began to get this disc more. I have said before that the #1 thing I ask of musicians when listening to their music is don’t bore me. There were a few times on ‘Sweetness and Light’ that Anata Wa Sukkari Tsukarete lost me, but even then I was never bored. I did enjoy most of this disc and if you find yourself bored with the traditional music forms of Rock, Pop, and even Jazz, this disc will expose you to some new ideas that might even make their way back into popular music.

I was able to get this entire release here free yesterday. I found a link to this download while I was looking for a track listing (the copy I got to review for AltSounds wasn’t factory and had no track listings). I don’t know if the free download is supposed to be here or not. I figure if you hear it and like it, you may go purchase some of their other music so have at it.

http://www.myspace.com/awsts

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September 28, 2009 - Posted by | Alternative, Indie, New Age, Uncategorized

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