AMN Reviews: Oh, Yoko – Seashore (Normal Cookie)

“Seashore” is the debut release by Oh, Yoko, the duo of Rie Mitsutake and Will Long. As Miko, Mitsutake has released two playful but wise and impeccably arranged albums, “Parade” and “Chandelier”, in which her airy, shy vocals blend seamlessly with her tentative but prepossessing acoustic and electronic self-accompaniment. Long boasts a huge discography as Celer, one of the past decade´s most beloved instrumental ambient duos, before the passing of his partner in 2009.

This single, a harbinger of their forthcoming album, combines an unhurried, avant-folk with delicate, insect-wing electronica. Mitsutake´s voice wanders in its own seraphic bliss and the piano and acoustic guitar follow distractedly behind.

The CD single features a “b-side” with two mixes, the first by Terre Thaemlitz, like the duo now based in Japan, and the second by Thaemlitz´ alter ego, DJ Sprinkles. His “Instrumental, Ver. 2” removes Mitsutake´s voice and concentrates on bringing out the intimate physicality of the guitar and especially piano, even the synthesizer (and the kitten in the room), while maintaining the same beatific demeanor. In contrast, Sprinkles´ “Ambient Ballroom” mix is twelve minutes of dazzling political art, a Diego Rivera mural in sound executed from beneath frowning Frida Kahlo eyebrows, cheapo-sounding drum machines racing below the dusky sky of Mitsutake´s stretched, wordless vocals, plastered with movie and spoken-word samples.

http://thesingularwe.org/blog/?cat=31

Stephen Fruitman

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