Fjordne: Moonlit Evocations (White Paddy Mountain, 2015)February 3, 2016 at 11:11 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment
Japanese electronic producer Fjordne (Shunichiro Fujimoto) has previously been known for processing acoustic guitars and pianos into glitchy ambient tracks. This album, however, is a lot closer to jazz, mixed with experimental hip-hop/illbient production techniques. The pianos are front and center here, but there’s some slow, trippy hip-hop beats, which are often echoed and reversed. Discogs files this under “contemporary jazz”, but I think that’s stretching it. It’s pretty wonderful, though, a nice, twilight crawl through a strange but ultimately safe forest. It’s exquisitely produced, with several layers of instruments and effects which are a little messy but ultimately welcoming, and the piano and guitar melodies are upfront and the drums are slow and uncomplicated, although sometimes they’re riddled with backwards masking and other effects. “Glati” adds a clunking hip-hop beat, sax, and a thicket of voices, and “Reverends” has another laidback, jazzy hip-hop feel, with a clapping rhythm and another dense tapestry of sounds. “Coenbiac” also seems to be a drunken stumble with beats tumbling underneath the thick collage of muttering voices and reverb-heavy pianos. “Capsella” also loops some strange voices, but otherwise it’s not quite as heavily layered. “Behind Exquisite, Tragic” forgoes beats for more eerie drifting sounds, pianos, and voices. This is a remarkably original album with much depth to it, a lot to explore.