Boomkat Product Review:
Japanese-born drum machine deity Ikue Mori returns to Tzadik with another surrealist set of songs, distorting bizarre vocals and unexpected instruments with her arsenal of effects and computer-controlled electronics.
After she left New York no-wave band DNA, Mori decided to turn her attention towards the drum machine, pioneering a technique that would establish the electronic instrument on a different platform, forcing the boxes to blurt out hotwired splutters instead of common or garden backing track beats. Years later - and after high profile collaborations with Kim Gordon, Zeena Parkins, Mike Patton, John Zorn, Fred Frith and others - Mori's artistic focus is wider and more exploratory. On "Tracing the Magic", rhythm still plays a core role, but drums aren't always central to her compositions.
'Falling Blue', for example, hides dubby throbs between processed field recordings, oozing water droplet synths and staccato plucks, and 'Outburst' sounds like a malfunctioning tape machine thats squealing spools mimic an organ running out of air. 'Down Below' is icier, all laptop-mangled electro-acoustic ASMR business that morphs into toytown melodics in the final third.