RiLF : Ferris Wheel (1st album released in 2010)
RiLF, the Tokyo-based alternative rock band's first album, Ferris Wheel, features lovely vocals, band sounds, and beautiful strings. RiLF are Takahiro Kido, Yuki Murata, and Takahiro Matsue, who are also members of Anoice. They have also been joined by Calu, the vocalist of Matryoshka, at the beginning of 2010.
The album contains some unforgettable masterpieces such as "Pray for the Piano," a lovely tune which uses many classical musical instruments, and "Mint Tea," which was recorded by adding a beautiful orchestra to their band sound. The fleeting melodies created by RiLF will bring you to tears. These awesome talents have participated in tours with artists such as Dakota Suites (UK), sayCet (France), and Stina (Australia).
For fans of Radiohead, Sigur Rós, and Mogwai.
|1. Intro||Calu : Vocal|
|2. Roller Coaster||Yuki Murata : Piano, Synthesizer|
|3. Ocean||Takahiro Kido : Guitar, Piano, Programming, Glockenspiel, Organ, Melodion|
|4. Pray for the Piano||Jyunko Tabira : Violin|
|5. interlude||Utaka Fujiwara : Viola|
|6. so sad||Takahiro Matsue : Bass, Guitar, Synthesizer, Programming|
|7. Anechoic Room||Aki : Drums|
|8. Mint Tea|
|9. Orange Murmur|
|Track.1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 9 Composed by Calu, Takahiro Kido|
|Track.4, 7 Composed by Calu, Takahiro Kido, Takahiro Matsue|
|Track.5 Composed by Takahiro Matsue|
|Recorded and Mixed by Takahiro Kido|
|Mastered by Hiromits Shoji|
|Photo by Takahiro Kido|
|Art Direction and Design by Takahiro Kido|
|Released by Ricco Label|
|Anechoic Room||Pray for the Piano||Mint Tea||so sad|
In poetry's pre-Romantic era, the avoidance of experimentation was considered a mark of genius; to be considered a great writer, one had to master existing forms. Adhering strictly to structure showed discipline and skill; reinventing the wheel demonstrated a lack of restraint. The downside of this approach, besides the obvious lack of experimentation, was that it produced nothing explicitly bad, just waves of the exceedingly mediocre. It’s easy to see parallels in modern composition. RiLF provides the rare exception, calling on a whole smattering of intimately familiar elements, but combining them with such grace and precision that the end result is as exciting and fascinating as an entirely new product.
It’s incredibly easy to draw a direct family tree for RiLF’s sound—Sigur Ros’s ghostly falsetto (sung here by a female), Boards of Canada’s hazy analog electronica, Ghastly City Sleep’s weightless shoegaze. However, unlike many of these “band equations” where influence x plus influence y is significantly less interesting than what the formula might imply, Ferris Wheel combines the best of the best with stunning effortlessness. “Roller Coaster,” for example, aptly blends every pleasant-sounding genre trope imaginable into a sublime whole: grandiose strings, electronic beats, ethereal vocals, far-off guitar wailing and a subtly shifting, consistently alluring structure.
RiLF also gracefully sidesteps one-dimensionality by toying with its modus operandi in each new song. “Ocean” features most of the aforementioned elements but dials back the intensity, sounding both entirely fresh and soothingly familiar. “Pray for Piano” puts vocals in the backseat in order to emphasize a dramatic build-up. The dreamy instrumental, “Interlude”, spotlights a beautifully voiced electric guitar; even when the band draws back further, the interest level remains high. Some songs stand out, and any can stand alone, but the album's overall flow and atmosphere are magnificent.
First and foremost, RiLF have written an album. Ferris Wheel is so well-conceived that even the ironically upbeat and propulsive “So Sad”, which deviates from the established vibe, folds neatly into the proceedings. The clever track order here works exceedingly well, as the similar-sounding tracks are placed on opposite ends, making them feel more “new” than logic would dictate.
Normally it would be a bit terrifying to admit that almost every sound on this album can be traced back to an obvious influence, and even typing this feels a bit strange in face of the final rating. Yet Ferris Wheel is sublime in every sense of the word: it’s much bigger than the sum of its parts and is so beautifully executed that any nitpicking is instantly snuffed. RiLF has learned from its influences rather than attempted to emulate them. It’s a subtle distinction, but it’s what elevates the great from the overwhelmingly average.
= Calvin Young / The Silent Ballet
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