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September 18, 2006 | by  | in Music | [ssba]

Shugu Tokumaru L.S.T.

The previous album from Shugu Tokumaru, Night Piece, received ecstatic reviews from the few that managed to get their hands on its rather limited release. Likewise, when this follow-up appeared last December it was only available as an import. Now Lil’ Chief Records have made L.S.T. available for Australia and New Zealand with an additional CD-ROM of interactive goodies.

Tokumaru utilises a multitude of noisewringers, traditional Japanese instruments rub shoulders with guitar and what sounds like nature viagra 50mg samples and unidentifiable tinkerings that are probably the result of the manipulation and utilisation of whatever was laying around Shugu’s house. These are all layered to create an intriguing audio stew that manages to avoid being impenetrable. The overall clanking, strumming, plinking, clicking and whirring creates a lush effect similar to an orchestra of wind-up toy music-boxes, each one wound to a different variation on a theme, melodies cutting out as one box runs down and another springs to life, taking a song into its own idiosyncratic tangent. Shugo’s breathy Japanese vocals are comparable to My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields, but any Sigur Ros trance state never lasts too long before another element is introduced that manages to gently upset the balance. Just listen to how the ‘Oriental-sounding’ opening of ‘Vista’ quickly reveals a simple melody any buy cialis online Flying Nun band would envy: Deerhoof on a sunny day.

It’s so tempting to evoke the exotic, when such a strong thread of Japaneseness runs through this album, but while the horrible labels of world-music or folk aren’t that far away, either would be akin to calling OK Computer a rock album. Though I’m reminded of Yoshimi P-We’s band OOIOO, with which this shares a joyous sense of the fantastic, a more solid touchstone would be Shugu’s American bedroom counterpart Ariel Pink, whosemusic bubbles with the same invigorating invention and low-fidelity bliss of someone creating their own intimate paradigm for pop music.


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