Boomkat Product Review:
‘FRKWYS Vol. 14 - Nue’ is a brilliant and uniquely beguiling study in non-standard tunings by Tashi Wada and his father, Fluxus artist Yoshi Wada, including input from Julia Holter, Simone Forti, Cole MGN, and Corey Fogel
Collaborating properly for the first time, Tashi and his father effectively serve an extension of the ideas in Yoshi’s classic side, ‘Earth Horns With Electronic Drones’. While we haven’t got an instrument list to hand, we can detect them using electronic synthesis, along with bagpipes, percussion, and vocals arranged at varying angles, smartly blurring their electro-acoustic distinctions at times, and at others using them quite explicitly in what may be perceived as richly dissonant tonal clashes.
In a very special way, the album is coolly tempered but riddled with wild unpredictability from song to song, starting out with the wilting electronic oscillations of ‘Aubade’, to scale the swelling bank of electronics and plangent bagpipes in the preceding single ‘Ground’, before massing in keening vocal harmony against a bed of electronics in ‘Ondine’.
The bagpipes return in a different way on ‘Double Body’, curled in almost jazzy ellipses around Corey Fogel’s slow, reverberating percussionin wonderfully unexpected ways, whereas the chiming percussive tingles of ‘Bottom Of The Sky’ recall stately Japanese Gagaku, and the pipes make another welcome return in close duet with the electronics on their self-explanatory and frankly fucking beautiful ‘Fanfare’.
For our money this is the strongest, spellbinding FRKWYS volume in its 10 year run - one of those records that restores faith, where needed, in the mysterious, inexplicable power of far out experimental music.