Instrumental post-rock being the crowded genre that it is, it’s hard for new bands to make themselves heard over the clangorous din of their peers. While most seem to up the ante, Japan’s Anoice try for the opposite effect and bring things down to a minimum. The group boasts a roster size comparable to Godspeed, but there are no moments of chaos here. Instead, the band is knowledgeable of their strengths and turns in songs of restrained elegance, or concise, haunting beauty. The disc is organized so that the more abstract minimalist pieces play against the straightforward movements. The untitled fifth track achieves incredible beauty through stark simplicity. The interplay between piano notes and oscillating synth loops tugs at those melancholy heartstrings perfectly. The follow-up, “Liange,” is built around the same principle, but the inorganic electronics are swapped for a viola, instantly bringing to mind the lush soundtracks of Wong-Kar Wai or Zhang Yimou’s films. It isn’t even in Anoice’s plan to begin meek and end strong. The album’s final track, also untitled, exits with a low whisper. It’s so refreshing to hear a group of this size not trying to intimidate the listener or obfuscate the melody. Most definitely Important Records’ most important record I’ve heard thus far.

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