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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Yasushi Miura
Connection & Repetition / New Type 3001
self-released

Rating: 4.5/10 ?


April 12, 2006
Tokyo must be an incredible city. Movies like Lost In Translation and Hella's Tour DVD, Concentration Face, portray the metropolis as a overpopulated, over-stimulated neon wonderland. Friends who visit Tokyo come back with blank expressions and few words to describe the place, still reeling from the culture shock of it all. It may be a stereotype to think of Japan's capital as a bustling mega-city of the future, but I haven't seen
anything to the contrary.

Tokyo-based electronic musician Yasushi Miura plays off such preconceived notions with his frenetic brand of IDM on Connection & Repetition and New Type 3001. The two-step beats and minimalist melodies found on every track of these albums conjures images of bustling city traffic, ultra-modern dance clubs that never close, and to a lesser extent, those tiny hotel cubicles you always hear about.

Miura has this sound down pat. Hyper-fast rhythms bang on and on ad infinitum and glitchy synthesizers hop from one mini melody to the next without rhyme or reason. Sadly, though, this sort of punched-up techno will hold interest only for those obsessed with IDM and it's legion of practitioners. Faster and harder than anything German label Kompakt has put out but less experimental than dudes like Kid606, Miura's music occupies the lonely territory between fucked-up artistry and loveable electronica.

Songs such as "Shinjuku On Sunday" from Connection & Repetition feature cut up samples of people speaking in English about "sharing responsibilities" and "bringing a bottle of wine up from the basement." These clips don't have any meaning lyrically, they only serve to add another repetitive, rhythmic element to a song that doesn't need it. Most of the melodic loops are too short to grow into anything substantial, like the cool riff on "From Rubble" that is confined to 4 measures. Once you figure out that Miura isn't going to build on these loops, it becomes all too easy to drown out the song altogether. He rarely strays from the cliché oomp-hiss beat which is at first exciting, then boring and finally irritating. Both Connection & Repetition and New Type 3001 move at approximately 140 B.P.M. (give or take) throughout their hour-long spans, and this is simply too fast for such a long span of time. Occasionally, Miura will throw in an arrhythmic interlude like New Type's "Separation" or "Error," but these breaks aren't long enough to catch your breath, even if you're listening to the CD in your car. Maybe this pace is what Mirua's music has in common with Tokyo; exhilarating at first but exhausting in the long run.

Reviewed by Andy Brown
A regular contributor to LAS, Andy Brown lives in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, but doesn\'t think he has an accent.

See other reviews by Andy Brown

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