AMN Reviews: Velveljin – “Nostalghia” (Noble)

Velveljin is an occasional electronic duo, formed in Kyoto three years ago by Mana Haraguchi and Yohei Yamakado, currently relocated to Paris where the latter attends film school. “Nostalghia” was inspired by the Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky´s eponymous Italian film, which also served as the basis of a string ensemble composed by Toru Takemitsu in 1987.

All three share a perfect pitch for the arrangement of sound and image and the sense of incompleteness – of memory, of time, of ever having enough time, of ever remembering enough. Although hardly in thrall to the plot of the movie, the track “Xoanon”, with its dripping water and footsteps, is an eerie recreation of The Author´s famous, fatal walk across the length of a drained swimming pool, trying to keep a candle alight.

Velveljin are sensitive keepers of rhythm displaying such variation as to keep it as colourful as the looped melodies are sepia in tone. This puts them in bold relief, but does not hinder the fascinating subtleties unfolding in the near background from etching images on the imagination.

Stephen Fruitman

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