cirqular / emdy: Prague / Catshag

The third in Gracetone Recordings' seven-inch split singles series pairs single-track sides by emdy (Anastasios Kokkinidis) and cirqular (Japanese musicians Go Muroiwa and Takayuki Horiuchi). Composed by Kokkinidis, emdy's “Catshag22” merges the sounds of Thaz Astabo on mandolin and Thanos Sideris on bass clarinet with urban field recordings from Dimitrios Mpaltzis. Though only four minutes long, the electroacoustic composition packs a good amount of fiery and intense detail into its running time, with the bass clarinet's low croak and the mandolin's bright plucks intersecting with a cat's harsh shriek and rumbling traffic sounds to unsettling effect. On the flip side, “Prague” (cirqular's first official release in a traditional format) combines Muroiwa's piano playing with sound design by Muroiwa and Horiuchi. A rich field of percussive rustlings and knocks and orchestral tones provides a cinematic backdrop to elegant piano ruminations, the sum total of which suggests the mystery of the city even if in abstract form and in less than five minutes. That the single makes one curious to hear the preceding installments (the second featuring Monika and Chris Setel, the first Mescalinaeden and Eventless Plot) must count as some measure of the release's impact.

July 2009