Japanese Producer Yu Asaeda releases his new record of experimental bass music on two varying formats. The vinyl of Binaural contains several exclusive tracks only available there on lovely marbled wax. The cd has it’s own bonus track on the second disc and contains Japanese liner notes for you to pick through. It also has an exciting Obi-strip to behold! Format madness courtesy of the Samurai Horo label.
Double LP £17.99 SMGHOROLP01V
White vinyl repress 2LP on Samurai Horo.
CD £12.99 SMGHOROCD01
Digipak 2CD w/ obi strip on Samurai Horo.
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- Binaural by ENA
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Ena was first brought to my attention by the Tokyo installation of the RA minidoc ‘Real Scenes’, a peek into the underbelly of feet-movers around the world. I can’t remember if he was featured as an artist, but his contribution to the soundtrack was personally the highlight. The rest seemed rather bleak - focusing mainly on the archaic ‘fueiho’ law that forbid dancing after midnight in the country, an attempt made in 1948 to curb postwar prostitution. Perhaps it is this restricting of bodily liberties that has driven Japanese producers to be masters of the esoteric and experimental (just check some of Raster Noton’s back catalogue). Late last year, the law had begun to ease, which will come as great news to Ena as he drops his intense second album Binaural right at the start of a shift.
So powerful is the murky skank of Binaural that it may be hailed as a rallying anthem for the cause. It almost all sits happily at a halftime 170bpm reminiscent of DnB, the dark and minimal portion of the scene still going strong here in the UK. It can loosely be described as ‘bass music’, as the lines between this style and those of techno and ye olde dubsteppe (a la DMZ) are continually coalescing into an underground megascene. This record combines pounding, staggered rhythmic elements with assorted noises and hiss, with an omnipresent blare of dissonant horn-like synth ebbing and flowing behind the curtain of beats. Crisp, clear production is the focus here, all killer no filler, as a wise pop punk band once said.
Interestingly, the CD version of this appears to be completely different to the vinyl. Bear that in mind when considering which version to get! The CD version also comes with a 50 minute live exercise based on the tracks on this, which is always a bonus but sometimes a chore. You’ll have to get it to find out cuz I’m not gonna review it!
It is clear that Ena has achieved dance music saintdom on this, crafting low frequency rollers to keep you going way past the fueiho. I just wish I knew what the other half of this album was like!
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