Anoice : Out of Season (2nd album released in 2008)
"Out of Season" is the second album from the Tokyo-based modern-classical/post-rock ensemble, Anoice. Aside from Anoice, the music group Ricco Label is made up of many other wonderful projects: the solo work of Takahiro Kido and Yuki Murata (who are both members of Anoice), RiLF (The post-rock band formed by the members of Anoice and Calu, who is the vocalist of Matryoshka), films (The Tokyo-based dark classical music unit, featuring members of Anoice), mokyow (The post-rock band formed by Takahiro Kido, Takahiro Matsue and Tadashi Yoshikawa, and the keyboardist Kenichi Kai) and cru (The modern-classical music unit formed by Takahiro Kido and Yuki Murata), and some secret projects.
By releasing this album, Anoice established their unique method of composing music, that is: configuring simple tracks by their minute calculation.
The album contains some unforgettable masterpieces such as "Glitch" and "Short Film," which are admired by Ryuichi Sakamoto, and "id," an awesome post-rock tune which has overwhelming noise and rhythm that appear out of nowhere from the dark. You cannot help being startled by their original basic concept that has been refined since they debuted in 2006.
In addition, don't miss the tense atmosphere felt everywhere in the album by recording at a ruined hotel!!
|1. Snow Drop||Takahiro Kido : Guitar, Piano, Programming, Organ, Glockenspiel, Melodion|
|2. Glitch||Taku Tanioka : Guitar|
|3. Sound-Lifting||Yuki Murata : Piano, Synthesizer, Programming|
|4. Short Film||Utaka Fujiwara : Viola, Piano, Synthesizer, Programming|
|5. far from||Takahiro Matsue : Bass, Synthesizer, Programming|
|6. Fishbed||Tadashi Yoshikawa : Drums, Perccusion, Turn Table|
|Track. 1, 4 Composed by Yuki Murata|
|Track. 2, 8 Composed by Takahiro Kido|
|Track. 3, 9 Composed by Takahiro Kido, Utaka Fujiwara|
|Track. 5 Composed by Utaka Fujiwara|
|Track. 6 Composed by Takahiro Matsue|
|Track. 7 Composed by Taku Tanioka|
|Recorded by Takahiro Kido, Taku Tanioka, Yuki Murata, Utaka Fujiwara, Takahiro Matsue|
|Mixed by Takahiro Kido, Yuki Murata, Takahiro Matsue|
|Mastered by Hideharu Masai|
|Photo by Takahiro Kido|
|Art Direction and Design by Takahiro Kido|
|Released by Ricco Label|
|Glitch||id||Short Film||Glitch (duo)|
After the release of the indispensable solo work of Takahiro Kido, here comes Anoice's Out of Season, a project under the terrible pressure of topping 2006's Remmings. Out of Season takes on the dreaded role of the album that comes after the fantastic debut, the one which can supposedly affirm or end the presence of a band. By now firmly implanted in the minds of obscure music listeners, the six members of Anoice make neo-classical music that flirts with the boundaries of experimentation and ambience. If you're put off by the ever-increasing amount of technical terms and genre names and are more attached to emotions and feelings, consider that Anoice makes music that moves you.
In structure, Out of Season does resemble its predecessor, as it is composed of four very melodic songs surrounded by smaller segments that focus on experimentation. While the record as a whole is less accessible, and sees the band dare to wander off of the beaten path more openly, it still revolves around the same formula: Anoice's music is so beautiful that each note is as a still from a movie projected onto your closed eyelids. The comparison to great film scorers is an obvious one: where "Glitch" reminds of Max Richter's best pieces, the opening of "Short Film" has the passion of a sonata by Michael Nyman. Anoice's favorite pastime is to make you travel to places you haven't been, or put you in situations you haven't experienced, through their music. In "ID," you find yourself hiking through plains that extend as far as the eye can see. "Short Film" lays you on a bed of sakura petals, in the midst of an afternoon in Kyoto's spring.
Yes, the feeling of Remmings is still there. Nonetheless, the means have changed. Remmings rocked, Out of Season gently pitches forwards and backwards. The bass that grooved so often in the past now hums, the piano oscillates between loud melodies and low, caressing backgrounds. The drums are less heard, yet more present. The sound is liberating to the listener because you can feel that the musicians made the conscious decision to be more free in their song-writing.
Unfortunately, this venture into mixing both sides of their music takes a lot of strength out of the experimental glimpses that seperate each "big" track. Once again, it feels a bit like these tracks are only filler material, and it hits even harder when the experimentation is done just as well in the core of their majestic pieces.
Freedom, especially in music, paradoxically needs to be channeled for the listener to feel the same pleasure the artist did when he wrote and recorded his creations. It asks for the utmost precision, for more concentration. Bottom line, it is more time and effort-consuming than a more restricted approach. But when it's done well, nothing can top its creativity. If the members of Anoice hadn't already nearly proved to be capable of such an accomplishment, I would just say that Out of Season is a excellent album. In the present situation, I feel compelled to say that this is an album that, had it been given more thought and more polish, would have been capable of reaching greater heights. Maybe Takahiro Kido and his pals, having spent most of last year writing and performing for side-projects, have lost focus on their main band and it somehow damaged this new album, making it only excellent when it could have been truly amazing. Then again, if you've listened to Fleursy Music, you'll side with me when I say that it's a loss I'm willing to take.
= Samy Bennaoui / The Silent Ballet
One of Japan's premiere instrumental acts, Anoice stunned The Silent Ballet staff in 2006 with its debut release, Remmings. Two years later Out of Season is feeding our hunger for new Anoice material, but it comes with a bit of a surprise. What was previously a balanced mix of post-rock and neo-classical genres has veered into experimental territory. The new album sheds the conservative sounds of its predecessor and fully embraces the compositional oddities of its members, allowing them to be fully expressive and Out of Season greatly benefits as a result. While neo-classical music is currently getting a lot of attention this year, no one has produced a work as distinctive as Anoice, who continually prove to be on top of the genre.
= The Silent Ballet
With guitars, bass, viola, keyboards and drums, the six Anoice succeed to create incredible atmospheres between Sigur Ros, Arvo part and Rachel's.
Even when all of them are going at it hammer and tongs they act more like an orchestra with each player adding their own element to the melody. Anoice hit all the blissful and joyous emotions and only rarely dip into melancholy like most bands of the same ilk.
Anoice have produced something entirely different and original, a mature record of great beauty and attention to detail that rises above any clichés and should by all accounts establish them as one of the leading artists today.
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