AMN Reviews: Sawako – (Baskaru)

I take the name “Sawako” less as the monicker of an exceptionally talented “sound sculptor” and “signal alchemist” (her words) and more a genre of Japanese aesthetics itself, like origami, ikebana, netsuke – something delicate, painstakingly wrought, and exquisitely detailed, from which more than mere pleasure can be derived. Ambient is too broad, experimental electronics too specific. Sawako articulates the “Locus of Everyday Life” itself, as the first track, piano opening tentatively as a butterfly emerging from its cocoon, attests.

“Pass.age” seems to flock and literally smooth down its feathers before taking mass, stork-like flight. And the track “F.light” itself is the wind beneath their wings. All Sawako´s pieces on are delicately showered and aspirated, only forming thicker precipitation on “Piano Cote”. It evaporates into infinity on the plain of “In.fini”.

It has been six full years since her last full album, Bitter Sweet (12k). Sawako takes her time. No chance operations, pure craftsmanship mediating a message of being in all its tenuous, ultimately barely graspable meaning. Certainty tweaks hold of its object between cruel fingers and possesses it in search of knowledge, but possession denies its individuality and its thousand variations. alights right in front of you and allows you to behold it, but only for so long.

Stephen Fruitman

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