Yaporigami: Saryu Sarva
Symbolic Interaction

There's precious little information available about Yaporigami beyond a discography, an artist description that characterizes his music as a breakcore-electronica-IDM hybrid, and a promo note stating “very sensitive subversive sounds by a Japanese paranoid,” so we'll pretty much have to judge the two-disc set Saryu Sarva (issued on the always-solid Symbolic Interaction imprint) solely on its own terms. It's distinguished first of all by its content with disc one's fifteen originals revisited on a companion disc by remixers like Quench, Machinedrum, Jimmy Edgar, and COH.

Based on previous Yaporigami material I've heard, I expected the opening half to be much like the cyclonic XIII (Give Daddy The Knife / Merry Works) but Saryu Sarva is considerably more varying in its moods than its hellacious predecessor. Yes, there are moments of fury (the crushing breakcore of “Citroen”) but, more often than not, Yaporigami opts for a more refined and accessible approach where he offsets alternately uplifting, even child-like, and melancholy melodies with ferocious breakbeat patterns. In “thirteen,” “thirty one,” and “Amadeus,” for instance, chiming music box-like melodies collide with hyperactive jungle spatter. In the atmospheric “Nomad,” gentle streams of synth tones are undercut by a muffled bass roar, and in “lebirth,” harmless melodies are poisoned by the emergence of a violent squall. The first half also includes a dark mini-symphony (“HulL”), beatific IDM (“lie”), and a galaxial synth meditation (“Ars”).

Not surprisingly, the stylistic range expands during the second half at some cost to the concision of disc one. Some contributors stay the course and hew to the first half's style: Yee-King intensifies the drum'n'bass vibe of “thirteen,” and Con Brio's gives “Amadeus” a jittery treatment very much in the Yaporigami spirit. Others inject his originals with a hip-hop feel: Quench (aka Funckarma) gives “HulL” a convulsive hip-hop makeover, Machinedrum turns “Citroen” into slinky boom-bap, and Himuro transforms “Seasalas” into slippery electro-funk. Anatomica turns “Ame” into a frenetic throbber while, surprisingly, Jimmy Edgar renders “lie” a beatless, tranquil dreamscape. Reteric's “Nomad” becomes dark techno, and rapid-fire beats in Yu Miyahsita's “thirty one” rattle even more agitatedly than in the original; by contrast, pieces by COH (“additive rhythm”) and weave (“Ars”) slow the pace to a catatonic crawl. In short, Saryu Sarva, which offers up two hours of varying moods and styles, is clearly the most complete presentation of Yaporigami's music-making to date.

February 2008