Aki Tsuyuko

Ongakushitsu [Moikai]

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Kyoto's Aki Tsuyuko contributed vocals to some of Nobukazu Takemura's most memorable tracks (including the breathtaking "Kepler" from his album Scope), and while touring with him she has performed on a powerbook, but on this solo recording, Tsuyuko makes music with an array of analog and digital keyboards. Her unhurried compositions focus more on the texture of the sounds than on melody. In keeping with the overall theme of records released on Takemura's Childisc label, Tsuyuko opts for a gentle, restrained approach. "A Happy Day" finds her pumping an organ through a wistful, music box-style melody; the eerie "Flower on the Ground" seems like theme music for a heady kid's show; and the thick, round drones of "Umi No Hanashi" give the track a palpable warmth. As music, Ongakushitsu verges on the ambient, with no rhythm instruments or vocals standing in the way of the simple, measured keyboard figures. There is a haunting and slightly alien quality to many of the pieces, as they exist without clear reference points in the blurred, colorful world of Tsuyuko's fertile imagination.

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