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  • Writer's pictureThomas

New Reverse Image / TBWB album 常若 / Tokokawa

If things have been a little quiet in terms of new written material here, this is a big reason why (and one I don’t regret diverting my energies to)!

I’m proud to present 常若, a new collaborative release with Reverse Image, which features immersive movements of avant-electronics full of unexpected tonal contrasts and shifts in intensity. Powered by modular synthesis, “concrete” assemblage technique and a pervasive desire to work with the full spectrum of sound, this is the product of its our commitment to a dynamic, ever-renewing sense of aesthetics.

From late 2023 to the present, we started from a simple, agreed interest in collaboration to something that became much more carefully calibrated and conceptually guided.The results are, to my ears, a seamless and strangely organic suite of electro-acoustic pieces that hone in on the “essences” of various avant-electronic genres (“noise,” “drone,” “dark ambient,” etc etc) without succumbing to their more cliched elements. We composed this material almost telepathically (i.e. with a bare minimum of instruction and revision needed) and I’m excited to share the results with my supporters here.

We aimed for this music to be a representation of our being conduits for energies that precede us and will survive us, and to that end we also named the three “phases” here with verbal cues indicating different states of matter: “Ama-no-gawa” is either the “Milky Way” or, in direct translation, the “River of Heaven.” “Nurikabe” is a solid plaster wall that, I’m told, occasionally figures into bouts of sleep paralysis. “Jouhatsu suru Yuurei” are “vaporizing ghosts” (the confusion this may cause native Japanese speakers is intentional - I was trying to imagine something ephemeral becoming somehow even more ephemeral).

We aimed at creating pieces which would also have the “properties” of solid, liquid or gas, but not completely: the focus is, again, on cyclical renewal and therefore each of these phases has just enough of an open-ended quality to it.

The CD version of this album on Fourth Dimension is also enhanced by lovely full-color artwork from Paul Takahashi, and expert mastering by Ryoko Ono.


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