Boomkat Product Review:
Tokyo-born multimedia artist Ken Ikeda has previous recorded albums (2000's Tzuki and Merge in 2003) for the Touch label. For his third full-length Ikeda looks to Japanese microsound specialists Spekk for a release, and true to the label's form it's a highly impressive collection of miniature sound worlds, focussing on the everyday auditory detritus we might initially overlook yet make-up a big part of our everyday lives. According to the liner notes, over the two years it took Ikeda to record and assemble this album he found himself getting lost in a kind of altered state in which he learned to perceive his ordinary surroundings in a different way, consequently, the sounds from his living space take on new forms. Key to the sonic make-up of this record is Ikeda's own primitively hand-fashioned instrument made from elastic bands wrapped around nails in a board. Using this piece of apparatus Ikeda found a way to interact with the incidental soundscapes all around him and the whole thing got recorded and later processed digitally. Certain pieces, such as 'Rustle' document this with comparative clarity: while Ikeda plucks his way around his new instrument, crackling and crunching sounds are overlaid, producing a beautiful, ear-tickling sound work. Over the course of the album Ikeda takes a variety of different approaches to sculpting his source material. For instance, 'A Part Of Shunkin' is made into something explicitly musical, brimming with tactile sound matter but also melodious string sounds, while on the other hand 'Sawaribrato' is all watery texture and close-knit atmospherics. Exceedingly lovely.