Music Reviews

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Artist: Ima x Atto Plain (@)
Title: s/t
Format: CD
Label: Edgetone Records
Rated: *****
Ima x Atto Plain is a collaboration of two duos that share one common individual. Ima consists of Nava Dunkelman on percussion and Jeanie-Aprille Tang on electronics and Atto Plain consists of Jeanie-Aprille Tang on electronics and Michael Mersereau on guitar. I was unfamiliar with these projects, but was quite familiar with his work in 15 Degrees Below Zero, which I have enjoyed very much. First off, you have to love a group who has a song title written in Morse Code. We open up with '.- .... . / .-.. . - - . .-. ...' which the Morse Code translator tells me translates to 'ahe letters,' if I have input it correctly. But this is not merely a gimmick; the continual beeps that run over the percussion are reminiscent of Morse Code. Whispered voice, muted trumpet, and chimes / bells become increasingly chaotic, keeping everything interesting. 'Eline' goes for a more expansive and spacey feel, with more bells, drone, and breathy female vocals. This feels almost peaceful after the previous track, with the composition more controlled and purposeful. Very pretty. 'Thin Film' shifts gears once again, with a more sparse, dissonant track that features sheet metal, feedback, and what sounds like distorted harmonica. In the middle, we have some female spoken word mixed in with the noise. 'The Letters' finishes off the disc with clicks, hisses, and metallic whines, as if you were listening to a factory cranking out product. This track was not quite as complex as the others, but still interesting and engaging. Overall, this manages to be all over the map, while maintaining a sense of cohesiveness, which is no small feat. This makes me interested to see what the individual bands sound like, which seems to be a good outcome of any collaboration.

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