Kuuki No Soko by Replicant
It was a late night, the kind that never seems to get old until it’s the next day and you’re wondering where the time went. Hours can be stolen by many things, be they airport lounges, boring conversations, the insidious evil that is Daylight Savings Time…
Moods peak and valley but time marches ever-forward in starts and fits, jerking us all along for the ride. Hours can be stolen, but how often are they given? I put in the new album Kuuki No Soko by Replicant to get some time back.
Replicant, from Japan, are like temporal Robin Hoods. They steal from the wealthy few who have time to make beautiful music and give you back minutes from which to dream your own life of beauty and melancholy. You will add hours to your life by listening to their new album from Radio Khartoum. How do I know this? Well, for one thing I have listened to the album several times, and each time I find time is stretching, allowing me space inside my mind to reach through the ether and clutch onto some group of feelings I didn’t know were there.
Like The Sea and Cake, there is a sense that this group is able to listen to the same classic Beach Boys and Gainsbourg records as everyone else, and yet come out with something that exists in a separate universe. Slightly strange timing and unique rhythmic creations, combined with synth echoes, acoustic guitar strums and hopeful vocals create a pop record shot through with extra time and extra space. There is an overwhelming sense of sureness of purpose, which is ironic considering that purpose seems to have been to create an ambigious pop record. The production, by the group and Masayuki Takahashi, is flawless.
The tunes are familiar if not catchy, and sweet but not sticky. As usual for the label, this album’s packaging is exquisite and perfectly suited to the music. This is an album that engages the mind on a very subtle level, but will linger with you as you celebrate the extra hours you’ve suddenly found in the night…
Exclusive to USOUNDS: Mellow Welcome mp3 by Replicant
Kei Kargo is a new reviewer for USOUNDS. He lives in Tokyo, Japan