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Boomkat Product Review:
Mind-mashing vocal and electronic experiments from legendary Japanese punk Hiromi Moritani, aka Phew. Originally part of Aunt Sally, she later collaborated with Ryuichi Sakamoto and members of Can, Einsturzende Neubauten and DAF, among other scene icons. "Vertigo KO" pulls together unreleased material recorded between 2017 and 2019 and is described by Phew as "a personal documentary music of the late 2010s".
It's an intimate collection, twisting vocals around bizarre synthesizer patterns, nauseous drones and bubbling rhythms. There's even a cover of The Raincoats' 'The Void', which makes some kind of sense as Phew collaborated with Ana da Silva on 2018's "Island", yet still sounds disarmingly alien. The music sits almost completely out of time, sometimes reminding of vintage electronic music, sometimes kosmische, sometimes academic experimentalism, sometimes the playful, irreverent electronics of Yellow Magic Orchestra. But there's little room for vapid nostalgia here, Phew is still pushing relentlessly forward and her optimism is inspiring.