Brael / Tokyo Bloodworm: Living Language

The seed for this debut collaboration between electroacoustic outfit Brael (Steve Dannemiller, Joachim Hero) and Tokyo Bloodworm (Ryan Keane, Andrew Sanchez, Phillip Shiozaki) was planted when both groups' songs appeared on the Moodgadget compilation The Rorschach Suite. Mutual admiration prompted the decision to collaborate with Living Language the sterling outcome. The groups merge into a cohesive quintet on seven, multi-hued settings that extend from dreamily exotic settings to lilting lullabies.

“Saturn Shine” floods the mix with soft vinyl crackle, carousel-like chimes, and angelic whispers, and the music thereafter blossoms like time-lapse photography. With the introduction over, limpid vibraphone and glockenspiel patterns slow the pace, allowing Stephanie Flood's hushed voice to make its presence fully felt. The music eventually turns into a lulling dreamscape in its closing minutes—an audacious nine-minute beginning to say the least. In “Golden Mean Rectangle,” the strum of an acoustic guitar lends a folk slant to the languorous haze that drifts below while the pluck of a kalimba bestows earthy flavour while the aromatic interlude “Moss Grown Weary” ventures Eastward. Starting out as quietly as Moteer releases often do, “Seed” begins with a gentle keyboard melody and soft clicks, and then fills out with the vibraphone adding sparkle and a humming choir bringing warmth. Psychedelic traces seep into “Magic Wand” where a synthesizer's bright glow lights a path through a willowy forest of mallet instruments and tinkles. Listening to this splendid forty-minute collection, one would never think it was created by two groups collaborating for the first time when it sounds so much like the latest release by an established unit.

July 2008