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Fatal Ennui: Autumn Meditation

27 November 2011

Dark drones from Tokyo-born, Chicago-based Akiho Hoshino. The opening track, “Sunrise Drone,” uses organ (probably a pipe organ); its overtones set up gently pulsating, asymmetrical, overlapping rhythms. Even though it has harmonic content, its nearly static, slowly mutating nature makes that irrelevant. Other tracks’ material origins are less clear. “Abduction” mixes a grittily oscillating tone, a low white-noise-hum drone, vinyl record surface noise, and a very distant, slow-moving two-note synthesizer pattern. “Underwater Slumber” seems purely electronic as various hums drift into the foreground, then drift away. The sinister-sounding “Thieves and Ghosts” sets up some dissonant humming and then has swells of sound from what might be a heavily processed bowed cello and less discernable sources wash in and out, with a temporary hint of rhythm pinging between the two sides of the sonic landscape before the thickening textures increase the dissonance and volume in threatening fashion; it gradually thins out into spaciness, with a bit of rhythm looped in. The concluding “Dream (Beginning of Fall)” also seems purely electronic, but in its dense play of overtones recalls “Sunrise Drone” a bit. Occupying the middle ground between the more ethereal Brock Van Wey and the darker and dirtier Thomas Watkiss, this is an exceptional debut. It can be downloaded here.