Yoshi Wada opened up experimental music to entire new ways of approaching structure and timbre; a player of bagpipes, band leader and sound designer, his work has been commanding and uncompromising. His son, Tashi Wada, is a composer in his own right, and the two have here collaborated on a record of explorations into the subliminal and subconscious potential of music. They're joined by an absolute belter of a line-up, including Julia Holter, Corey Fogel and Cole MGN. Get excited.
Staff note from Robin:
If you aren't familiar with Yoshi Wada's work it is time to get acquainted: never has drone music felt so intense and plate-shifting. FRKWYS are a reliable source of era-exchanging experiments, and this father-son bonding session between two great composers will likely sound fantastic: plus, it's always nice to hear what Julia Holter's been up to in her downtime between albums.
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Bagpipes, though. You heard these things? Absolutely nuts. Not so if you’re Yoshi Wada, the legendary drone hero who’s been making music whatever way suits him for a very long time. So long that he has a son. Who is also a composer. What goes around comes around like father like son to me to you. In a collaboration to out-dad all dad rock, the family duo present the purest, most perfect iteration of Rvng Intl’s FRKWYS series to date, providing a gorgeous record of keening minimalism that imparts wisdom back and forth and counts members of Julia Holter’s band amongst its roster.
It is a record that suits the Wada’s compositional prowesses. Yoshi’s busy, tonally peripheral drones are counterbalanced by Tashi’s inclinations towards the spatial and melodic, and writing together, they craft expansive tunes that go beyond just themselves. Much of their work here serves ‘solo’ performances from their band, with “Mutable Signs” centering itself on Holter’s voice and “Litany” housing resonant, chiming percussion from Corey Fogel. Each piece feels like a significant departure from the last, another investigation into what this band can produce. On “Bottom of the Sky”, the whole band come together to create a spartan collage of percussive oddities, exchanging the shrill bagpipes and chantings of “Double Body” for something entirely its opposite.
It’s an absolutely brilliant record all things considered: whether you’re partial to the stern drones Yoshi Wada used to make for bagpipes and voice or you’re interested in group improv, this record will likely blow you away. Holter's moog playing is its own revelation: alongside her own bandmate Corey Fogel, who plays gorgeous percussive melodramas, she parts the sea of this record, moving between its droning broods. These kind of juxtapositions are simple, but effective, achieving Tashi Wada’s goal of creating a music that feels reverent and ancient, but also forward-thinking and futurist. In the end 'Nue' is a real-time bridge between both.
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- FRKWYS Vol. 14 – Nue by Tashi Wada With Yoshi Wada & Friends
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