October 4, 2018

Mkwaju Ensemble (Midori Takada) - Mkwaju 140g Vinyl, Heavy 350gsm Sleeve, Sticker

wrwtfww025WRWTFWW Records is proud to announce the highly anticipated official reissue of holy grail album MKWAJU by acclaimed Japanese percussionist Midori Takada's MKWAJU ensemble, sourced from the original masters and available in two versions: a vinyl LP cut at Emil Berliner Studios (formerly the in-house recording department of Deutsche Grammophon) and a digipack CD.

Originally recorded in February and March 1981 and released by fabled Japanese avant-garde label Better Days (home of Ryuichi Sakamato's debut album, Yasuaki Shimizu's Kakashi, Colored Music self-titled LP and many more) MKWAJU is the fruit of the collaboration between Takada's crew and world-famous composer/musical director Joe Hisaishi, the man behind most of of Hayao Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli anime soundtracks and over 100 other films scores, including Takeshi Kitano's Sonatine, Hana-Bi, and Kikujiro. The ensemble's transcendental wonder is, in fact, the first-ever Midori Takada album and the first-ever Joe Hisaishi-produced album. Historic.

Led by Midori Takada on marimba, gong, vibraphone, and tom tom, MKWAJU is an inventive and riveting take on Eastern and Western minimalist traditions, African rhythms, and early electronica. Drawing from its jazz-rooted polyrhythmic improvisations in the most inventive ways, the album covers a wide spectrum of sounds, from colorful dance floor-ready percussion pieces that stand somewhere between proto-techno and experimental synth-pop, to cinematic ambient landscapes and ethereal drone delicacies. The feverishly sought-after full-length is a stepping-stone in Midori Takada's career and an all-around pioneering album. 

Alongside Takada and Hisaishi (who not only produced the album but also played synthesizers), personnel on MKWAJU includes famed Japanese musicians Yoji Sadanari and Hideki Matsutake of KI-Motion fame, Junko Arase (heard on Satoshi Ashikawa's legendary Still Way - Wave Notation 2), and Pecker (whose stacked resume boasts collaborations with Ryuichi Sakamoto and Jun Fukamachi).

 

October 4, 2018

Sebastian Gandera - Le Raccourci (1lp+mp3)

es008Le Raccourci is a welcome introduction to the world of modern classical identity Sebastian Gandera. The impressionist landscapes of a sensitive soul self-reflecting, these miniature compositions alternate across a rudimentary set up of piano, field recorder, sampler and four track. Melancholic utterings hastily captured some 100km east of Paris.

Classically trained by the same teacher as his parents, Gandera first began recording in the confines of his university dorm room, inspired by a C60 from friend and future collaborator Bernard Odot (A Gethsémani). Humbly existing without sparing a thought to music industry or career, Gandera's personal effects surfaced via the European and US cassette networks from 1988 to 1994. Impressively accomplished for the DIY scene they orbited, these tapes were issued in scant quantities, rendering his pieces as private secrets shared and duplicated in small concentric circles. Aside from a sole, avowedly traumatic performance, the material was never shared in a live context.

Selected by Sky Girl co-conspirer Julien Dechery, Le Raccourci culls 15 tracks from Gandera's extensive cassette discography, discarded DAT recordings, and split CD with Lyon toy music project Klimperei. These sentiently charged compositions only hint at his larger catalogue, but act as a compelling cross section of the artist's oeuvre. The identity is further detailed by archival images, Glen Goetze penned liner notes and original artwork from Perks and Mini's Misha Hollenbach.

While Gandera's nostalgic melodies incidentally parallel with the piano key manoeuvres of Pascal Comelade, Robert Haigh and Dominique Lawalrée, Le Raccourci could only stem from the escapist desires of one Eric Morin.

 

October 4, 2018

Nachtbraker - When You Find A Stranger In The Alps (2LP)

QSLP01After a string of acclaimed EPs on Heist, Dirt Crew and Quartet Series, Amsterdam's Nachtbraker presents 'When You Find a Stranger in the Alps', his first longplayer on his own Quartet Series imprint. The good-humoured Dutchman - tongue always firmly in cheek - has always refused to stick to the 'sound du jour' and the industry's conventions, following his own path instead, continually willing to step out of his comfort zone. 'When You Find a Stranger in the Alps', a nod to his favourite Coen Brothers' movie, is testament to Nachtbraker's studio prowess and drive to explore new sonic pastures and styles. The album consists of thirteen tracks, made over the course of 2,5 years in his studio at Volkshotel Amsterdam. Constantly shifting through different settings and moods, the album feels like a deep dream, with vivid details, blurry edges and a warped sense of time. The word "stranger" in the title references to this dream state in which you sometimes can be a stranger to yourself. 

Album opener 'The Dream Sequence' sets the mood with a lo-slung hip-house groove that relies heavily on field recordings, like the sound of one of the capital's trams. 'Flambo', a delectable slice of up-tempo French filtered house, is aimed straight at the dance floor. Nachtbraker dims the lights on 'NSFW', cleverly manipulating samples from adult oriented flicks, and turns in a hilarious skit with 'LOL'. 

Flip over for 'Randy', a quintessential Nachtbraker track, morphing from a Balearic, tropical disco shuffler to a dance floor banger. 'Driving me Lazy' starts out as a downtempo number but changes into a full-on drum 'n bass workout. The driving 'You Can't Run' features drunken chords over a sober beat, conjuring up visions of running circles in a dark maze. 'Just Doing My Thang' rides a classic broken beat, while Nachtbraker pushes the boundaries again on Innaspace, which starts out as an instrumental hip hop track yet finishes on a jungle tip.

'Aliens' is a choppy, headsdown groover with cheeky UFO-geek samples that wouldn't be out of place on a mid-90s West Coast Deep House compilation. 'Horsepony' finds Nachtbraker on a sultry Nightmares on Wax tip. Finally, it ends with where it all started; it'll be the moment "When You Wake Up".

The album is recorded and mixed at Nachtbraker's studio in the Amsterdam Volkshotel. All 13 tracks are run through 2" tape on a Studer A800 and are mastered at Q-lab studio in Basel, Switzerland.