Yuko Nexus6

Nexus6 Song Book

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Yuko Nexus6's second album for the Sonore label focuses on her voice. Every track features it, treated or cleaned, up-front or as part of a field recording, with 13 of the 14 pieces revolving around songs, from traditional Japanese and contemporary songs to Occidental staples such as "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" and "He's a Jolly Good Fellow." Mischievously, it is the Occidental titles that feature the most deconstructed voices, so that neither the melodies nor the lyrics are recognizable, while some of the Japanese songs are sung very intelligibly. The latter ones might evoke Tujiko Nuriko at times, but Nexus6's sound world is much more fragmented, experimental, and witty. Hi-tech computers and cheap tape recorders are all equally useful in her hands. Nexus6 Song Book is actually quite similar to Journal de Tokyo; the listener is taken on an electro-acoustic journey that reads like a scrapbook of the artist's universe. A field recording is followed by a segment of musique concrète, then a sharp cut to abstract electronics or dance beats or honky tonk piano or harsh noise -- you never know what will come next, but Nexus6's voice provides a sturdy backbone to this entertaining craziness. Despite the good-humored nature of these "covers" ("reappropriations" would be a better word), the music remains very demanding, absorbing, and obviously complex to assemble. The rather long "Live" piece destabilizes the otherwise solid structure of the album, but that point aside, Nexus6 Song Book offers a captivating, fun, and truly unique listen.

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