Vital Weekly - Issue 1080
Applause to those who, in times of ever diminishing sales, start a new label. It is called Soft Error, run by musician Mark Lyken, to focus on 'sound art, field recording, drone, sound collage, tape music and unruly electronics' and their inaugural release is by Masayuki Imanishi, of whom I reviewed a LP before (see Vital weekly 1024), but who also had releases on Gender-Less Kibbutz, Deserted Factory, Psych.KG, A Giant Fern, Creative Sources and obs. For this new release, with a single piece on either side of the cassette (twelve and twenty minutes), he uses paper, speaker, field recording and synth. I had this tape on repeat for some time, distracted as I was by so many things at the same time. Obviously that is not the way to play music, but perhaps also it is, inevitably, the way things go. I noticed that in both cases, playing the music without paying too much attention and with some eye for detail, that it didn't matter that much, and it worked in both cases really well. There is something very microsound about the music, even when it does not drop to an all time low (in fact never at all), but the hiss and rumble or whatever it is that he does works very well as a pleasant backdrop to what one is doing, checking mail, reading, relaxing or a concentrated listening. Obviously in the latter modus one simply hears more of what's going on, and the delicate care that has been used for the detail in the music. On the first side there is quite some crackling and bubbling going on, like the processed rain drops falling down, while the other side is a beautiful stretched out drone piece, slowly changing colour as the piece progresses. Here I believed to hear a multitude of ventilators or otherwise obscured motorized sources. Nothing new or spectacular going on here on this tape, but quite a beauty of poetic noise.
Frans De Waard