Nagisa Ni Te

The True World

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An obscure and mesmerizing record from the Japanese underground, this exquisite album by Nagisa Ni Te presents music inspired by the Velvet Underground and '60s psychedelic pop, and which embodies these influences in a distinctive and personal way. Calling to mind the '80s Rough Trade and Flying Nun sound, the similarities to groups such as the Raincoats and Felt can be heard here, and, like those pop innovators, they wear their influences on their sleeve while maintaining an inventive take on the form. Originally released as a double LP on Org in 1999, the P-Vine label reissued this remarkable album on CD, beautifully duplicating the original double-LP gatefold package. The double-length format gave space to the trio and allowed them to explore the full range of their oeuvre, from sweet minimalist pop miniatures to expansive folk and psychedelic excursions, all characterized by a brittle and intimate air. At times the songs seem set to collapse were another feather of melody placed atop them. The reduced framework that they casually explore consists of pattering drums that provide a skeleton on which plaintive acoustic guitar and occasional Lou Reed-inspired fuzz outbursts rest. Delicate vocals narrate stories of love in faux juvenile language; the longing and elation call to mind the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band at its most delicate. With numerous collections of their inspired music, On the Love Beach, The True Sun, and Feel are three extraordinary and notable sisters to this album. Nagisa Ni Te are set to be remembered as one of the foremost guitar pop bands of the '90s Japanese underground. While their contemporaries Acid Mothers Temple and Ghost exploit and transform the heavier aspect of '60s American and U.K. psychedelia, Nagisa Ni Te touch on the sweet tranquility of Nick Drake, the Velvet Underground, and Tim Buckley and, in the process, revisit a pop sensibility long forgotten in the '90s.