Friday, June 5, 2020
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cover
Artist: ROEL MEELKOP
Title: (onkyo ok)
Format: CD
Label: CMR (@)
Rated: *****
I have mixed feelings about the solo material of Meelkop's that I've listened to: many excellent moments, but also less memorable ones that made the experience less engaging. On the contrary, this is a beautiful, cohesive, well-crafted work, one of those to which one returns quite frequently, despite its difficult nature. "(onkyo ok)" is based on manipulated field recordings taken by Meelkop, Hitoko Sakai and Frans de Waard (Meelkop's partner in Goem and Kapotte Muziek along with Peter Duimelinks) during Goem's 2001 Japanese tour. As expected, the 2003 re-work of the sources made most of them a sort of primal sound-clay, though now and then you can still recognize bits of pachinko parlours, coversations, crows, insects... A pretty dark and at times disturbing album, "(onkyo ok)" reminded me of a less minimal "Warszawa Restaurant" by Francisco López: put your headphones on, crank up the volume, and you'll find yourself immersed in a droning space, where once familiar sounds appear and disappear like ghosts, or vanishing memories.

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