Boomkat Product Review:
**Sweetest folk-rock-pop debut delicacy from a member of Jim O'Rourke'sn Tokyo-based band** "Drag City present the first domestic release of any kind from the Japanese singer songwriter Eiko Ishibashi, and the first vinyl release of any kind for this already-accomplished performer. And what a release. ‘Imitation Of Life’ isn’t just another pop record from another part of the world - it’s got a sci-fi theme and is produced by none other than Jim O’Rourke. Eiko Ishibashi is a singer-songwriter, producer and session musician, focused on piano, but adept on drums, flute and vibraphone as well. She actually started out as a drummer, playing in several different bands. Then, at a filmmaker friend’s request, she did a soundtrack score, and the fulfilment of composing led to her solo career. Since 2006, she has released four pop albums and a solo piano album, all of which have been highly rated by the Japanese press. She plays at least a hundred gigs a year, including big rock festivals and European tours. Artists Eiko has played with include Keiji Haino, Akira Sakata, Charlemagne Palestine, Seiichi Yamamoto, Gasper Claus, Oren Ambarchi, Glenn Kotche, Darin Gray and Merzbow. She is also a member of the current Jim O’Rourke band and recently formed an improv group called Kafka’s Ibiki, with O’Rourke and Tatsuhisa Yamamoto. After her third album, ‘Carapace (2011), Eiko decided to do something new, which was when she started Eiko Ishibashi To Mou Shinda Hitotachi. The members of this group (Jim O’Rourke, Toshiaki Sudo, Tatsuhisa Yamamoto, Atsuko Hatano) became the band for ‘Imitation Of Life’, featuring production, like ‘Carapace’ before it, by Jim O’Rourke. With an understanding of band dynamics developed through her many live shows and recordings, Eiko’s delicate, precise compositions are arranged with a dramatic-yet-humorous prog-pop sound. The flowing backgrounds she has conceived for her light, sweet melodies are captured by O’Rourke with a lively sense of play, which matches Eiko’s lyric concept, embodying a science fiction story which brings the album to a challenging new level. The variety of sounds, the impact of lyrics and her imagination keeps expanding, and in the latter stages of the album, the songs achieve a shattering impact. In addition to the band, the guest musicians play an important role with their unique colours as well - many people will be blown away by the performance of jazzmaster Akira Sakata on the title track. In addition, Tomoo Gokita provided the ideal cover graphics for ‘Imitation Of Life’ (he previously provided the cover image for Loose Fur’s ‘Born Again In The USA’)."