Ironomi presents their first record in 5 years, and they’ve obviously been busy in that time, as Niji stretches over 3 CDs, totaling 164 minutes. Each piece was born out of improvisations between Junya Yanagidaira and Yu Isobe and the many guests they invited to join them. Subtle, intimate feeling pieces are the result. Triple CD on Kitchen.
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- Niji by Ironomi
8/10 Robin Staff review, 05 January 2016
It’s important to cover all the ambient bases sometimes, and Ironomi are, for lack of better phraseology, on it. For real: this one hundred sixty four minute record is an expansive field of sound, with textures spreading from more formalised neo-classical compositions into twinkling ambient lunchbreaks where any sound on any toy instrument is a possibility. For these familiar with labels spreading from Ironomi’s own Kitchen to Home Normal, Hibernate and Eilean, this record is a warm tea cosy for the ears (such a thing exists as of now): a record that has enough going on to pay attention to, but enough of a droning malaise to just get absorbed into.
Utilising little piano flourishes as the record’s primacy -- a strange thing, considering their absent-minded, candle-flickering approach -- this record then shades in the corners, occasionally using sharp strings and what sound like accordions, the kind of subliminal instrumental drone that makes up the works of Natural Snow Buildings or the Sly and Unseen. Ironomi’s music develops a similar pastorality while never reaching for the same intensity, as if witnessing a storm from inside a house’s door-frame.
It’s so pretty and it’s configured with such a peculiarity: a hundred and sixty minutes is a really long time, and ‘Niji’ doesn’t lie still for the whole of it, the record often contradicting a droning background with plonking timbres that move against the tide. It’s quiet, ernest stuff, though, and even the disruptions are attempts at softening. Kitchen should sell this with a pillow.
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