Music Reviews

Artist: Gurun Gurun (@)
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Label: Home Normal (@)
Rated: *****
Japanese musicians are normally known to be imitators of Western musical styles. Good imitators by the way as they often reach very high quality tops by adding some frenzy stylistical elements, so that they cannot be considered plagiarist. However in the last decade, some of them elaborated pop and rock standards through a wise combination with electronics and a bizarre approach to composition, which is not averse to glitch "philosophy", based on the preservation of mistakes, which have gradually been turned into proper compositional elements, and fuzzy vocal experiments, partially drawn from other performing arts, resulting in a style, which lives on its own. Just think to innovating musicians such as Takagi Masakatsu, Cornelius, Shugo Tokumare and similar ones dealing with the above mentioned pop and rock standards in order to find confirmation to my consideration. It rarely occurs that a sort of inverse imitative process happens, as not so many Western musicians get really influenced by Japanese style, sometimes for an excessively conceited attitude. It's not the same for Gurun Gurun (name taken from the fictional planet of an old school Slovak children's sci-fi TV series titled "She Came Out of The Blue Sky"), a trio made up of the Czech guitarist Tomas Knoflicek and keyboardist Jara Tarnovski, who later involved Federsel in the band as well as a plenty of collaborators who are normally pleased to add their recipe in the boiling pot of this folks, who melt together Japanese music, glitch sketches and even some electroacoustic, after wearing their nice music in a lovely indietronics' suite. In details for this release Gurun Gurun called to arms the uvulas of three talented vocal performers, the soft one by Moskitoo from 12k label, who gives her lovely voice for the most daydreaming tracks (Fu, Ano Uta), the astonishing singer Sawako (maybe you know her name for some collaborations with Taylor Deupree) emitting astonishing sounds on tracks like "Yume no mori" and "Yuki ~ Hawaiian Snowflake", and the talented Rurarakiss aka Aki Tomita, lovely intepreting the most glitchy and noisy stuff, who have all been hired with a relevant group of performers, including Opiate (a notorious name from Berlin music scene, having signed many releases for Morr Music, City Centre Offices and Raster-Noton) and Kora et le Mechanix, Irena and Vojtech Havolivi (aka The Havels), Daniel Meier, Floex, Artem Vartanian. Most of the songs' spinal column rests both on the Japanese vocalizations intertwined with ethereal wailing and on a limited micro-sound palette whereas instrumental punching by guitar, brass and some wind instruments stains the sound space in a way which could be compared to painting technique of pointillism. All these elements have been combined in a way, which is less stereotypical than one can expect from bands who adhere to some kind of existing genre, even if they cross more or less the same stylistical territories. I personally appreciated the moments when the electric gentle activity gets on edge till something close to electroacustics pieces (have a listen to "Io"), so that it turns into a sort of disturbing element within such an overflowing melodic delicacy. I reccomend to purchase this album from Home Normal store so that you'll receive a bonus disc for free, including remixes by .Tape., pimon, Zavoloka, Orla Wren, Hearts+Horses, offthesky and Part Timer.

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