Oh, Yoko’s ‘Seashore’ in Avant Music News
“Seashore” is the debut release by Oh, Yoko, the duo of Rie Mitsutake and Will Long. As Miko, Mitsutake has released two playful but wise and impeccably arranged albums, “Parade” and “Chandelier”, in which her airy, shy vocals blend seamlessly with her tentative but prepossessing acoustic and electronic self-accompaniment. Long boasts a huge discography as Celer, one of the past decade´s most beloved instrumental ambient duos, before the passing of his partner in 2009.
This single, a harbinger of their forthcoming album, combines an unhurried, avant-folk with delicate, insect-wing electronica. Mitsutake´s voice wanders in its own seraphic bliss and the piano and acoustic guitar follow distractedly behind.
The CD single features a “b-side” with two mixes, the first by Terre Thaemlitz, like the duo now based in Japan, and the second by Thaemlitz´ alter ego, DJ Sprinkles. His “Instrumental, Ver. 2″ removes Mitsutake´s voice and concentrates on bringing out the intimate physicality of the guitar and especially piano, even the synthesizer (and the kitten in the room), while maintaining the same beatific demeanor. In contrast, Sprinkles´ “Ambient Ballroom” mix is twelve minutes of dazzling political art, a Diego Rivera mural in sound executed from beneath frowning Frida Kahlo eyebrows, cheapo-sounding drum machines racing below the dusky sky of Mitsutake´s stretched, wordless vocals, plastered with movie and spoken-word samples.
Oh, Yoko ‘Seashore’ in maeror3
Проживающий в Токио Уилл Лонг продолжает свою деятельность в рамках «Celer», с завидной регулярностью пополняя дискографию новыми релизами и переизданиями хорошо зарекомендовавшего себя материала, при этом находит время немного поработать «на стороне». Не знаю, получит ли развитие «Oh, Yoko», проект, который Уилл затеял вместе со своей новой спутницей жизни, Ри Митсутаке, или же все, что останется после него – лишь этот сингл «Seashore», выпущенный новым японским лейблом «Normal Cookie», да это и не важно. Честно говоря, после прослушивания этой музыки некоторое время очень многое вокруг кажется не важным – настолько погружает в себя эта работа, создавая комфортные, при этом чисто бытовые условия, заставляя радоваться жизни в каждом ее моменте. О чем это я? О том, что сонный акустический эмбиент «Seashore» легко представить себе звучащим в гостиной или детской комнате, освященной нежно-бархатистыми лучами вечернего летнего солнца. Подобная музыка, как я успел заметить, хорошо прижилась у японских экспериментаторов – она проста и незатейлива, но легко находит отклик у слушателя, хотя и состоит «всего лишь» из звуков вроде как без особого порядка подергиваемых струн, поверхностных касаний белых клавиш (в стиле «шла кошка по роялю») и женского тихого голоса, который поет колыбельную. На фоне застывает столь тихий эмбиентный гул, что его скорее ощущаешь, чем слышишь, хотя вовремя надетые на голову наушники позволят лучше «разглядеть» его меняющуюся фактуру, которая вовсе не кажется такой уж простой. Акт творческой свободы и мимолетная импровизация, заряженная светлым и немного меланхоличным настроением – словно лето еще не кончилось и на улице в любое время слышен детский смех, а ты уже начинаешь размышлять о том, как будешь скучать по этим счастливых часам серой осенью и холодной зимой. Размышлять и погружаться в сон, дремотная магия вокала это быстро организует. Как и любой сингл, «Seashore» не обошелся без ремиксов – автором обоих выступил американский ди-джей Терри Тэмлиц. Под своим настоящим именем он оставил «Seashore» без вокала, немного структурировал партии гитары и клавишных, сделав их более гладкими и последовательными, и еще более усилил атмосферу жилого помещения, «открыв» окно и впустив легкий ветерок и сигналы проезжающих по улице машин со спецсигналами. Под именем «DJ Sprinkles» он выдал эталонный трек на стыке deep house и ambient, оставив только бесконечное эхо вокала Рие (похоже, кстати, на «Bvdub») и добавив свой голос, от всего сердца выражающий кому-то искреннюю благодарность под мягкий бит, который скрывает обрывки диалогов и мелодий, не давая возможности их идентифицировать, но вызывая сиюминутные подозрения в том, что где-то за стеной звучит самый известный хит «Bronski Beat». Очень комфортный и теплый трек, сразу же ушедший в «repeat». Да и сам сингл производит весьма приятное впечатление.
Oh, Yoko performance today at Soup
More info here
‘Seashore’ in Everything is Chemical
Oh, Yoko’s ‘Seashore’ in A Closer Listen
Seashore isn’t just music for the shoreline. In front of the tiny, broken shells and the rubbery, inked strands of jet-black seaweed, the single can be seen shining a vivid image of sunny suburbia, awash with special, sun-kissed moments that have spent years developing a healthy tan of happiness, a beautiful bronze that, with the passing of the years, reveals itself fully. Oh, Yoko, the duo responsible for extracting this state of mind, comprises of Rie Mitsutake (Miko), and Will Long (Celer). Seashore is music for closed eyes, for deepening thoughts of cloudless appreciation, descending over the record and covering the seascape imagery as it does so.
The duo have a long history when it comes to solo releases, and luckily for us they’re not ones to rest for too long a period. Their music together as Oh, Yoko is a subtle departure when considering their individual, stylistic output, and as a result, Seashorecan be viewed as a separate entity, musically universal only in its lovely, docile appearance and innocent nature. Shimmering as if arriving on the outskirts of a vague dream, the music on this three-track-single rejuvenates the air and dispels the space of January blues, and turns a new year slump into a soothing, thankful shower, where you just can’t help but smile. In fact, a decent way to describe Seashore would be with the frequently used smiley emoticon; =)
Eyes closed may be the most effective way to experience Seashore (it’s strange to think that with our eyes closed, we frequently see clear). Seashore contains such revelations; that, on the surface, things are never as bad as we perceive them to be. The music is capable of influencing our perception and outlook, transforming negative into positive. Music that can achieve this – and only as a single- is very potent. It has all the accessibility of light pop, but never compromises itself with the resulting quality (unlike pop.) The duo behind Oh, Yoko are musical heroes who know how to pour the perfect dose of affectionate piano, introverted guitar, light ambient and even lighter electronics like a cool drink, complete with ice, on a scorching day. They also know how to hold all of these elements together in a subtle interplay, fluid and uncluttered, and they also know when enough is enough; put them all together and Seashore is an affectionate debut sprinkled with a dabble of ambient pixie-dust.
Away from the beach, a feathery atmosphere invites a deepening piano, and Mitsutake’s hush of a vocal caresses a pillow-soft, protective melody that seems to drift endlessly. In this sleepy suburb, the patter of paws and the meows of a cat arrive on the air, either along the street or right beside our feet. A quiet mid-afternoon is in store, a seven-minute meditation during the day to rewind, relax and recuperate. All the music really desires is some affection, like a much needed hug after one of those days.
Trees sway in the breeze, and the full scent of optimism and promise is a close excitement. The instrumental B-Side, mixed by Terre Thaemlitz, adds a slightly restless ambient layer on top, perhaps tinted with a quick flicker of everyday stress, but it isn’t enough to dissuade the peace from entering the atmosphere. It’s an afternoon spent at home on a sleepy day.
Against the constant push and pull of the tide, the piano’s features are slowly rubbed away until the notes are submerged under only a trickle of warm, turquoise water. The sound of Seagulls circle a harbour overhead, only to coast further inland – perhaps into the very same suburbs. Landing beside the birds, a breezy guitar melody shrouded in a rosy light. Passing notes repeat the distance of an interval, like the sirens of police cars driving past in the street, but even this can’t erase the stillness of a tranquil day-dream, an outlet for peace to descend in a quiet, Japanese suburb.
DJ Sprinkles closes the single, dressing up the track for the approaching evening with a sparkling, electronic beat and a delicious atmosphere of love surrounded. The atmosphere remains in a stratosphere of unfading optimism; the music is medicine. Tranquil, undemanding and introverted, Seashore is a beautiful introduction to a new team completely at home in their natural environment. Oh, Yoko are practically telling us to trust life a little more, and enjoy it. Everything’s gonna be alright; it’s as sure as the rhythm of the tide. Seashore is a lovely delight of polite positivity. Open your eyes and smile.
Oh, Yoko’s ‘Seashore’ in Textura
Will Long isn’t one to rest. In addition to Celer releases that continue to appear in at-times bewildering frequency, he operates the Two Acorns label and Floor Sugar record store, and now adds the Oh, Yoko project to his CV. It’s a two-person group that pairs Long (synthesizer) with Rie Mitsutake (piano, acoustic guitar, vocals), who has issued full-length albums on Plop and Someone Good under the alias Miko. As their debut twenty-six-minute EP, Seashore, shows, theirs is a fragile and retiring electro-acoustic sound one might classify as nostalgic ambient-pop. As satisfying as their lone original is (which comes from Oh, Yoko’s forthcoming debut album), the EP’s major selling point is the participation of Terre Thaemlitz, who contributes a remix of the song under his own name and a club-oriented one as DJ Sprinkles.
The original is about as pretty a reverie as one would expect, given the personnel involved. Long’s subtle synthesizer atmospheres nicely complement the fragile musings that Mitsutake herself supports with a ruminative flow of piano and acoustic guitar shadings. There’s more going on than might be suggested by the laid-back, home-made vibe projected by the piece, with the vocal multiplied and both alternating back-and-forth from one channel to the other and literally doubling up and Long’s synth quiver rising and falling in quasi-parallel manner.
Having removed Mitsutake’s vocal altogether, Thaemlitz’s instrumental remix shifts the focus to piano meander and Long’s synth flutter before introducing a computerized voice element whose one-word pronouncements recalls both the ambient style of his own wonderful Couture Cosmetique(Caipirinha Productions, 1997) but also, obviously, Kraftwerk (“Computer-World” perhaps more than any other).
Though obviously far different in character than the other tracks, the “Sprinkles Ambient Ballroom” remix credited to DJ Sprinkles is the EP’s most vivacious cut—not that that’s a surprise, given its exuberant club style. Thaemlitz animates the original with a smorgasbord of body-moving techno and house beats, hi-hats, and synth pulsations, while also retaining enough of a connection to the original that its identity is preserved. An intimate conversation surfaces halfway through featuring the encouraging words of some therapist type addressed to someone wrestling with confusion and uncertainty (“And I hope you won’t give in to despair, that’s what I want to tell you. It’s so hard making sense of our lives…”), after which the angelic drift of Mitsutake’s wordless voice grows more dominant. With Thaemlitz on hand, the EP adds up to a promising start for Long’s latest project.
Oh, Yoko’s ‘Seashore’ in Fluid Radio
Picture the scene: time is suspended. You kiss the air like a jewel without. Knives round the corner. People are frozen, standing motionless before you. Their actions are as well, driven into the core of Earth like reversal of all that is infinite and known as infinite. This is a depressing situation – how do we rectify it? Mario Martinez might say each wound carried creationally has a healing field, an empowering component that honours its original organism to create the best outcome.
Look at where you’re manifesting the wound – you can get angry with shame, but what you feel then is humiliation? Look and think “What is the honourable thing to do?” Honourable consciousness is to respond to a shaming consciousness, and this kills the language of shame. Commitment, honour and loyalty through setting clear limits. and people generally don’t like joy; it’s a dangerous emotion. Inflammation of joy is caused by the shame brought from it, of another – knowing pro-flammatory products causes health to improve. Immunologically, people still sometimes die to protect the flag. But the reality is they’re only dead for a short time. And like the sea shore, the tide comes back in to thrive.
The “covenant of safety” is the thematic composite of Oh, Yoko’s “Seashore”, a 26 minute three-tracker released on Normal Cookie. The cover art depicts a small Japanese female reaching outside a car door, seemingly motionless besides arm-movement. Definitely, this is a good metaphor for Rie Mitsutake and Will Long’s music, seeing as these lull-isms have a reasoned resonance Sawako might aim towards, a cot-to-and-fro, “Seashore” unfurling its guitar with plink/plonk, casual indeterminancy that recalls Charles Hayward’s percussive rhythm dynamism, set to harmonic prop-petting beyond mast-iculation. Or: overarched grandeur of the emotional heft and transmogrified settings, which even on “Sprinkles Ambient Ballroom”, the duo don’t cut their slack too loose on what they’ve offered up. Which is bliss.
Normal Cookie as a label is new, a self-publishing music and art emporium, based in Tokyo, Japan, where Fluid regulars Will Long and Bvdub have visited in recent times. The final mix of “Seashore” here is fundamental to the child’s look – “Right just now you feel lost and confused”; “How do you know that?”; “I just do” the conversation passes on. With a solid shimmering 4/4 and choral tones backing the brigadeering, there’s a certain early noughties feel of electronic Plaid and Pilote that runs through these compostions. Quietly soaring and purposeful, Oh, Yoko show us where manifesting the wound is as much an exercise in condemning the absolute, as it is about ‘sound baggage handling’. In other words, we avoid the new at times because the old has more of an astute blend of influences; it doesn’t meek.
“I learned… that to condemn others is a grave mistake, since hatred, and even the wrong kind of criticism, is an evil which recoils upon its author and poisons every human relationship.
That does not mean we should be blind to the weaknesses or wickedness of others, any more than to our own, but that we should learn to look at them as the limitations of birth and circumstance, limitations which it is our duty to help them rise above. In this I have found that example and service are more helpful than advice or preaching.” ~ Margaret Bondfield, What Life Has Taught Me.
Oh, Yoko on Underexposed for Fluid Radio
See the full post here
Broken Shoulders + Miko and Celer at Commune
11.10 19:00 – 22:00
live : Broken Shoulders (from UK) / Miko and Celer / more
DJ : sumire (Twee Grrrls Club) + more
entrance : 1000yen (with 1drink )
Come see us!