Boomkat Product Review:
Nearly coinciding with the 3rd anniversary of Howard Williams’ Japan Blues show for NTS, the esteemed collector presents a potently hypnotic collage of samples from Japanese records woven with location recordings and, for the first time, even his own vocals, in a sort of travelogue inspired by the imagery of “an imaginary geisha opium den”.
Self-released as the debut on his eponymous label after a coupla cracking Japan Blues 12”s for Berceuse Heroique, Sells His Record Collection comes much closer than those records to the patchworked form of his cult radio show, executing a sublime but meditative drift fraught with moments of panic, abstraction and cinematic surprises.
Not a million miles (even a thousand) from the concept and tone of KWC 92’s Dream Of The Walled City, the suite unfolds with a morphing, dream-like quality that sounds a little like you’d imagine for a westerner with jet-lag becoming absorbed into a strangely familiar yet other culture.
The results are in their own way respectfully faithful to the source material, but porous to his own set of references and perspective, resulting in a heady guided trip by a proper expert that takes us from spellbinding percussive rituals to throbbing drones, gregorian chant and court music like a sonic projection for the back of drowsy eyelids.