The Black Rain
For those unfamiliar with Anoice, they are a five-piece ensemble from Tokyo, whose members include Takahiro Kido and Yuki Murata, whom you may already be familiar with, not only as solo musicians, but collectively in other projects such as RiLF and mokyow. Kido is also the owner of the Ricco Label of which this latest offering by Anoice is released.
'The Black Rain' is the fourth album by Anoice and for me, their strongest yet. The general theme seems to be something that starts rather fragile, yet broods into something a lot more sinister. Speaking to Kido, he told me that the events of last year in Japan had played a major influence in the direction of the mood of the album. Listening to it, this ambience and orchestration plays a much more significant role in not only the structures of the songs, but the album as a complete piece.
Placing them into a genre would not be an injustice as such, but simply too misleading. In the same way, comparing them to artists of a similar vein proves just as difficult. In various tracks, I hear Steve Reich as much as I hear Godspeed You Black Emperor, or Deaf Center in others. Yet this still feels like I am leaving many stones unturned in what lies behind Anoice's style.
It has been commented on that the interludes detract from the main pieces. While to some extent I do agree that it can sometimes feel that they interrupt the transitions from one song to the next, I don't feel that it is enough to detract from the merit of the album.
Comparing it with previous efforts, you really become aware of how already accomplished musicians and writers have flourished into something that will certainly impress current listeners, as well as gain a new audience. They've shown their full potential in 'The Black Rain' and I cannot recommend this album highly enough.
Posted: Sat 31 March 2012