Triple CD packs either form a tidal wave of disbelief as to the possible delusion an artist may have over his worth, or a humble offering that rights wrongs experienced by the subconscious on its quest for truth. The trio making up Origamibiro express in a genteel sway, but never forget acoustic ambient music is about transferring ignorance to interest as it is leaving it be.
“Noshi” for example, fans a Flamenco-y way, strolling like an old age canine without care except “when is meal time?”. Pattern recognition of expectation loses pretense instead of accumulating. It is down to Origamibiro’s soporific production style. Never do things perplex: “Womb Duvet” shows description of the group’s track titles to be more than post-modernist anachronism. Traces of Sone Institute’s yawning manna, is part of the problem/solution for the “Collection” 3CD though.
You can get through everything once – all three albums back to back. But after that pace becomes laborious. This isn’t an LP criticism – it’s criticism of homogenity in music itself. Attention spans cut off potential listeners from what is great, sometimes timeless work. I just hope it’s not the case for Origamibiro’s “Collection”, as it deserves loving ears. Let’s explore more…
As “Cracked Mirrors And Stopped Clocks” progresses, composer Tom Hill, visual artist and filmmaker Jim Boxall, and multi-instrumentalist Andy Tytherleigh’s beat and guitar rhythm sections further centrally interleave besides adding glitch. CD standout “Vitreous Detachment” tunnels into the electroacoustic lexicon but maintains groove to breach meandering into a chord cupcake. Sweet and refined, the guitar work combined with atmosphere becomes real pleasure objectified.
However, object is not to outline throwaway. Quite the opposite. The experience is to “collect” an object in sonic form, move about with it, formulate a fresh perspective. The C Minor of the titular piece is strummed and accompanied by achingly nourishing synthesizer that recalls sounds of Planet Mu’s eDIT on “Crying Over Pros For No Reason”.
Glitch and chance occupy the last sixth of this LP with insect-esque scuttling and finger-picking on “Unknown In The Walls” – a paradoxically barren, alien soundscape. Rich in sustain on the synth drone looming over the estranged guitar, it’s intense. “No More Counterfeit Bliss” has chords that resound over a pumped drum, filling the aural cavity like a blast of Listerine. There are echoes of new age greats Enigma here, in essence mystique being brought from sparing deployment.
Sparing deployment is less so on the second offering of the “Collection” discs, the more orchestral “Shakkei”. “Impressions Of Footfall” begins with electric piano teetering on strings that ebb into picture like a dodgeball connected to an asteroid; slowly breaking up in bellow of the cello. There is a cadence introducing drums lurching as a hefty mud treading sloth would through woodland. Woodland feels what you’re listening in, very natural and nothing squeamishly done – all cranked to eleven on the idea generator. At 44 minutes this record is the best of the lot, but that statement forsakes the great enjoyment of the “Shakkei Remixed” CD!
Now a remix can be a broken ruminant of future woe, a dislocation of the constituent parts with nothing to gel. It can also generate a queasy reductionism, relying too much on one idea with less following through. Not so here, as artists including Leafcutter John (also in the Planet Mu roster) dissect and re-qualify the core ideology of a remix as more than a pale snapshot of crumbling psychogeographical ruins. The music is rebuilt in a flowing ideal, a curving of silent edges that once egged the curious listener on. This characteristic bodes well for a sequential listening experience, as you hear the tapestries of sound refractively assuage and introspect on themselves with little room for break. The complete form also increases your enjoyment of Origamibiro by making you want to revisit this beautiful music.
In all, “Collection” is a highly recommended package from Denovali, one of the high life purveyors of ambient and modern classical at the moment. As with any collection though, you’ll find an ideal way to listen. For me, reviewing this record, I wanted to give the whole thing one long go. In hindsight I’d perhaps have broken up my listening into album chunks interspersed with other music. The fact that I managed 3 hours of listening to just Origamibiro is I believe enough discernable commendation that this is a worthy purchase!