Music Reviews

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Artist: Sontag Shogun and Moskitoo (@)
Title: The Things We Let Fall Apart / The Thunderswan
Format: 7"
Label: Home Normal (@)
Rated: *****
Some storyteller would say that this brief sonic tidbit on Home Normal - Ian Hawgood, its label manager, announced this will be the last release of 2017 - could be made of the same substance that dreams are made of, or I'd better say of the substance of fairytales. It's somehow true, as the two outputs on the tracks of this vynil could be matched to fabulous parallel worlds, due to the musical outfit that New York-based trio Sontag Shogun sewed for the enchanting voice by sound designer and vocalist Sanae Yamasaki, better known as Moskitoo (check her outouts on 12k to focus her style better): Ian Temple's delicate piano melodies, the amazedly guessed electronic entities forged and grasped by Jesse Perlstein (he's also the background voice you can hear in "The Thunderswan") and Jeremy Young, who also added some drops of squeezed oscillators in this balm for listeners' dreams. According to Jeremy's introduction, the idea behind these two tracks blossomed after Sontag Shogun tour with minamo, where they met Moskitoo. The band already appreciated Moskitoo's music, but they tried to give a sort of 'live' touch and put her evocative music out of glitchy and digitally marked sonic webs by drying Sontag's music to highlight the "soft, whispering voice" of the Japanese singer. "The Things We Let Fall Apart" mirrors this process, as they removed "a glitching beat created from chopped grain synthesized bits of radio static" of the initial version of the track. The shape of the sound in the mentioned "The Thunderswan" is similar, but there's a sort of fairytale as a framework for the track. Here it is the explanation of the story by Jeremy: "this piece is about a girl who doesn't belong in the town she's from. She wanders through tall reeds at night to a dark lake where she finds families of ducks and geese. She knows she doesn't belong here either, but they take her in, give her swan's wings, and teach her to fly. Eventually one night, she takes flight and leaves the lake, soaring over it, over the lights of the town, looking down on these places that mean nothing to her, and she gets stuck in a thunderstorm. She battles through some rains and wind, and decides to elevate herself to above the clouds, she breaks through the thick clouds, following the ever-brightening glow of the moon to find clear night skies. Below her are the tops of clouds, above her only stars, she's more alone here and now than she's ever been and starts to doubt that she'll ever find her true home. Just then, in an instant, from behind her and circling all around her, come 200 other boys and girls, flapping their giant swan's wings and gliding through the night air together. She's made it. She's home at last.". They's Home (Normal) at last.



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