This disc of electronic folk music, or whatever it is, starts with a track so beautiful and perfect that it knocked me the hell out. This piece (they’re all untitled) takes a basic four-chord piano sequence — okay so they’re not always the same four chords, but they usually are — and slowly layers in a little teensy beat and a tiny chime and some hardly noticeable ambient echoes, and suddenly it’s stunning. You think, “Damn, this is like ambient IDM except it’s listenable! and adorable! and groundbreaking!” Okay, that was what I was thinking.
I’m not sure that the rest of the disc lives up to this opener, though, and I’m not sure why Norihide didn’t follow up on the house-influenced ambience of Track One. The second piece is just a sappy-movie-soundtrack-sounding guitar instrumental, and the third is too, except that it’s an accordion waltz. Four, however, is a minor-league drone-work suggesting that he asked a bunch of kids to blow randomly on the tops of glass bottles with different amounts of soda in them. I got whiplash from the contrast.
Five finds the plot again, with dubby echoes of single piano notes, only to be overwhelmed by the 10 minutes of #6, which tries to use flamenco clichés (clapping, moody guitar notes) and droning whines as the punctuation in a mostly-silent kind of conceptual “masterpiece.” It doesn’t work in the least, and it doesn’t sound like Norihide cares one bit.
And ending things with two more simplistic guitarry folk-strumentals doesn’t help his case one bit, even if they are occasionally beautiful. Dude: there’s already one W.G. Snuffy Walden — go back to that computer/folk thing you do on tracks One and Five, and try again. You’re on to something, there.
Car Park Records: http://www.carparkrecords.com/