Boomkat Product Review:
Guess-again collage of DIY wanderlust spotlighting Brazil’s Akira Umeda, a low-key character who gets his flowers from the Lugar Alto label of his native São Paolo, chasing their turns by Mitar Subotić & Goran Vejvoda, Mumia, among other unsung pioneers of Brazil’s avant garde.
Quite the box of frogs, this. Like Black Truffle’s recent revelations of Uri Katzenstein, the groggiest ends of Rat Heart, or the dare-to-differ industrial-bops of Mumia on the label before him, Akira Umeda is presented as a free spirit in possession of a world building sound. A queer polymath working across artistic and academic fields, they restlessly move between oblique concrète sound poetry, lo-fi ambient, disco and curdled pop with precisely no fucks given to expectation, as purposefully explored and revealed in these side-long patchworks stitching myriad recordings that impart a clear his compelling, playful sense of surreality and sensuality.
“The term cruising refers to the practice of seeking and obtaining instant, no-strings-attached sexual gratification with strangers. Akira Umeda was well-acquainted with this term, but his practice of it was not restricted to the aforementioned context. Rather it extended into all spheres of his life and work. A historian by training, he later became a ceramicist, a photographer, a visual artist, a draftsman, a graphic designer, a DJ, a musician, an audio technician, a writer, a researcher… He made forays into a myriad of artistic and academic fields – with a single intention: to achieve a specific objective and promptly exit stage left, as it were.
Restless, and easily bored, Akira moved seamlessly from one activity to another – he was a little bit of everything (and nothing at all). Such people usually go unnoticed and unrecognized, something which Umeda found perfectly acceptable. Nevertheless, unlike most people, he had no right to see himself in this light – in the light of ephemerality and anonymity –, for in everything he tried his hand at, he inevitably left an impressive and distinctive mark.
In this album, Akira Umeda mixes 42 recordings, dated between 1988 and 2018, which, in a sense, reflect the incredible range of his creative work: from songs, to ambient music; from field recordings to prank calls. The cassette tapes, whose contents make up this double-LP, had been stored in Umeda’s house in São José dos Campos, in São Paulo, Brazil.”