Thursday 7 April 2016

Review: Ippu Mitsui / Annie & The Station Orchestra – 'Split EP'

'Split EP'

This is a genuine split of two sides. First of all we have the Japanese electronic producer Ippu Mitsui who is known for blending a range of electronic genres in interesting ways. Secondly we have Annie & The Station Orchestra with a more melodic and restrained approach to composition. Two very different artists but they compliment each other quite well.

Ippu Mitsui opens with the glitching techno and eclectic experimentalism of 'Lalanona' which recalls the likes of Aphex Twin and Squarepusher at their most rhythmic. 'Doramyo-Kick Off' is a hard and dance-orientated blend of techno synths and hard beets interspersed with experimental flourishes that don't detract from the dance-appeal at its core. 'Dodein Odori' plays with noise and experimental textures further in a more minimalistic way that incorporates simple beats and circuit bent sounds under a veil of noise. 'Impurities' closes out the first half with a display of restrained rhythmic bass and beats that border on the experimental end of witch house before descending into devilish noise.

Annie & The Station Orchestra also have a flair for the experimental but in a more melodic, considered and almost cinematic way. 'Time' marks their first contribution with a mass of simple beats, avant garde loops and simple synthesizer leads to create a melodic but intelligent composition. 'No More Pirates' emerges form its ambient and choppy loops with another simple blend of melody and rhythm that is reminiscent of the soundtrack work of Yoko Kanno. 'Heavy Artillery Ward' begins with a strong hiss of noise which again the more melodic and ambient elements emerge before a middle part which seems lifted entirely from another track. The final track on the release 'Bustippers' follows the formula of the past two tracks with a long introduction of more minimal experimental sounds before a quite pleasing mix of ambient synths, stuttering rhythms and a central loop create a melodic counterpoint.

This is one of those releases by artists who are master craters of sound. On the one hand they can sound noisy and abrasive, and on the other melodic and uplifting. So the production does just what it needs to and gives everything a nice even presentation and mix down.

This is a great release for fans of avant garde / experimental music. Two great artists for the price of one, each bringing something different but complimentary to the table. Whether Ippu Mitsui floats your boat, or you'd like to explore Annie & The Station Orchestra more this release has a lot to offer.  

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