Aoki Takamasa & Tujiko Noriko
/fat cat; 2005/


This collaboration between Aoki Takamasa and Tujiko Noriko is a really nice surprise. I was expecting more abstractness that makes me feel nothing, the new standard for electronica, but here, there is a real cohesive approach, that actually works in that good old reliable poppy way. It's high pitched voices intertwinning, singing in a language i can't understand, cut and pasted above melodic panels and discreets beats. "Vinyl Words" is one of the album's finest pieces, a gorgeous crescendo on top of which lands a not-so-regular beat, underlining the melancholy in both singers' voices. It sounds cute and sad, but 28 is much more than another cute record with Japanese girls : the songs are deeply moving, and their fragile musical architectures stand proud, with delicate ornaments and real electronic maestria. It's one of Fat Cat's finest releases this year, that will please both the hip IDM lover and the easily unsettled indie fan.

-Barbara H

/sept 1st 2005/