Often, it takes an outsider to break out of the ossified trappings and staid formulas of established artistic movements to create something new and exciting, even in such avant-garde scenes as the experimental techno movement. One such outsider is Ememe, a young Japanese composer raised on a diet of death metal and grindcore. Given such a history, it's a bit of a shock to hear "Raindrop," the opening track of his debut album, with its soft, almost New Age bell tones and lullaby sweetness. Things get even more unpredictable from there. "Many Kinds Of Happiness" takes stately string arrangements and church organs and hurls them into a frantic tempo, layered over a rhythm of drum machine glitches and adorned with dramatic vocals reminiscent of nothing so much as a forgotten character from "The Muppet Show." On the other hand, "Until We Believe" has a touch of Aphex Twin's eccentric humor, with perky chipmunk vocals whirring over ambient chimes, while "Optic Nerve" is a sort of spaced out blur of chopped up hip-hop samples and drunken pianos, chaotic but cheerful. "He Is A Juggler" is speedy again, with lots of snares, while "Field Of Remains" closes things out with pleasant fuzz, like a music box drowning in feedback and sustain. At barely half an hour, Plague And Bloom is little more than a tease, but it has that joyful unpredictability that made early experimental techno releases so compelling. Check this out if you're tired of generic ambient and long for electronic music to be baffling again.
Visit Ememe at http://www18.ocn.ne.jp/~ememe/ to hear this album.
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