Toshimaru Nakamura + Sachiko M | Do
Erstwhile | CD
Perhaps it's the shift in gaze from the macroscopic to microscopic that we have slowly, but surely witnessed over the course of the last century; perhaps it's the growing focus on near-invisible structures - nanotechnologies and molecular architectures - the carefully engineered products of this, and future, centuries; or perhaps it's the pervasiveness of software and its seemingly intangible by-products…
Whatever, we are undoubtedly witnessing a progressive shift from large scale to smaller scale structures; ultra-minimal in realisation, but far from ultra-minimal in impact.
On 'Do', Nakamura + Sachiko M take this interest to new heights. Creating powerful, mesmeric and utterly captivating works out of (seemingly) intangible means, they eschew grand gestures in favour of fleeting moments and barely perceptible nuances.
Coupling Nakamura's 'no-input mixing board' - an input/output, self-referencing loop whose conceptual elegance is outstanding before it has even generated a sound - with Sachiko M's 'sampler with sine wave', a sampler utilising nothing more than its own in-built test tones, the three compositions that result on 'Do' are nothing short of stunning.
Track 01, rests (painfully) pure sinewaves on a foundation of the subtlest of microrhythms, elegant digital ticks unfurling to the subtlest of harmonic melodies. The result is a 37 minute masterpiece: an utterly hypnotic, electronic 'just intonation' which unfolds to reveal expansive sounsdcapes emerging from the simplest of means. Like the best early minimalism (Tony Conrad, La Monte Young, early Steve Reich...) 'Do' never sounds the same twice, each listen is unique - a fleeting experience - as even the slightest shift of one's head creates a vastly different aural encounter.
The three tracks comprising 'Do' envelop the listener, each a masterpiece of gradual progression, inducing rolling waves inside your head, while constantly and infinitesimally creeping forward. An eternity of constant harmonic permutations, they phase in and out of focus in a musical exploration that can be encapsulated in one - short - word: immaculate.