Somnambule - Writing About Music

HiM Remix Series #1~ Japan

Track 1/A Verdict of Science. Remix/Nobukazu Takemura
A 15 minute episodic remix consisting of four sections. Section one begins with glitches and morse-like mini bleeps, solid state bird calls that’ll fool no feathered friend, clutterings and clatterings; all of which are panned wildly from ear to ear causing my stomach to consider protesting. Section two consists of a knitting needle enunciated rhythm over drums which increasingly reverberate into overload/take-off. Section three begins by cutting to what I assume is Rob Mazurek’s cornet over a hypnotic, sinuous rhythm where percussive elements gradually overload to the point of distortion and get battered by invasive particles. The acoustic cornet sounds increasingly like a lonely interloper in this sonic landscape. The final fairly lengthy section is made up of lovely, cumulating moire patterns with Mazurek’s cornet persisting until the end.

Track 2/Out Here. Remix/Susuma Yokota
Straightahead four to the floor kicks in and keeps going for the duration of the track. Small repetitive figures catch up with and make a momentary mark on the gleaming aluminium chassis of this rhythmic vehicle, then fall away unable to gain sufficient purchase to become fellow travellers.

Track 3/Sea Level. Remix/Ultra Living
My first impression is of the dysfunctioning of air conditioning units as they approach some form of critical mass - power needs to be cut before someone gets hurt. Second impression is of a swarm of saxophones caught in awkard loops, the noise of the instrument’s stops their cries of protest. My third and final impression is that this is the sound of a sonic machine at work (but what is it making?) After repeated listening I picture Ultra Living circling and examining aforesaid mysterious machine and recording it from multiple perspectives - the result? The remix.

Alert, intelligent contemporary electronica engages with alert, intelligent contemporary electric jazz to make a fascinating ep - well worth searching out.
Colin Buttimer
November 2002
Published by the BBC