Review: miki yui ( dual hollow )

Excerpt of a longer survey of miki's career to date.
Full article HERE 

During the sonic adventure that is Two To One, the music on veers between understated and atmospheric to cinematic and chilling as Miki Yui deploys her trusty samples and solar oscillators. Samples emerge from the soundscape as it gradually reveals it sonic secrets. It’s a case of the closer one listens, the more of its secrets Two To One reveals. Sometimes, the music is futuristic and otherworldly, as sci-fi sounds emerge. Soon, the soundscape becomes understated and minimalist as Miki Yui draws inspiration from small music. In the distance, samples of chatter can be heard and one can eavesdrop as this journey continues. Samples of a steam train are added, adding to the feeling of being on a journey. The sound of someone singing, children chattering and a myriad of found sounds are added as the minimalist sound dissipates. Suddenly, it’s a very different soundscape as it continues to evolve, bubbling, cracking, squeaking and droning adding a ruminative and sometimes, menacing sound. Always though, this innovative and cinematic soundscape has the capacity to captivate and set one’s imagination racing.

Flip over to side two and press play, and gradually the understated, dark and almost menacing sound of One To Two begins to reveal its cinematic sound. It’s panned and drones, growing in power, as washes of this dramatic and atmospheric soundscape assails the listener. This proves powerful, chilling and is guaranteed to enthral. The listener is left to provide their own script as wave upon wave of music continue to assail them. Later,the music becomes futuristic, dramatic and mesmeric as beeps escape from soundscape. They add a hypnotic backdrop as rumbling, bubbling and scampering sounds escape from soundscape. Latterly, what sounds like water can be heard in the soundscape, as it bubbles, before beeps, drones, melodic and menacing sound are emitted before this musical voyage draws to a close. It features Miki Yui at her most inventive and imaginative as she creates the second soundtrack to film that has to be made.

The two epic soundscapes on Dual (Hollow) feature Miki Yui at their most inventive and innovative as she takes the listeners on a musical voyage of discover. During this journey, Miki Yui throws curveballs and springs surprises aplenty during these captivating cinematic soundscapes. Even by the end of Two To One, the listener realises that they can never second guess Miki Yui.

She paints pictures using a myriad of samples, field recordings and found sounds. They’re her musical palette, which she puts to good use, throughout Dual (Hollow). It features one of the leading lights of experimental music as they create music that isdark, broody and moody, and other times, is melodic and Sometimes, it’s chilling, eerie and unsettling, other times, is understated and minimalist. Always, though, the music on Dual (Hollow) captivates and is innovative and inventive, as Miki Yui combines disparate musical genres.

These two genre-melting soundscapes find Miki Yui flitting between and fusing elements of avant-garde, drone, electronic and experimental music and Musique concrète. Miki Yui also draws inspiration from the pioneers of the Berlin and Düsseldorf schools of electronic music, improv and incorporates elements of what John Cage called “small music”during these two ambitious and captivating cinematic soundscapes. They were recorded live, which makes the quality of the music on Dual (Hollow) all the more remarkable. 

The recently released Dual (Hollow) is the first live album from the multitalented Miki Yui, and is without doubt, one of the finest albums of her near twenty year career. Dual (Hollow) is also the first album that Miki Yui has released on Mark Lyken’s new label Soft Error, which is based in Dumfries and Galloway, in the South West of Scotland. Hopefully, Soft Error will release many more albums of the quality of Miki Yui’s Dual (Hollow), which features a sonic pioneer at the peak of powers.

DEREK ANDERSON