Saturday, November 29, 2008
Yoshi Wada - Singing
A record like this doesn't come along very often. First of all, it's one that I am ridiculously excited about. Something I could listen to all day long. But there's something stopping me, you see. And that something is my wife. That's the other reason this is such a rare record. Elise and I hardly disagree on music. I mean, she doesn't always want to listen to the things I do but she at least respects them/doesn't hate them. And for us to be so separated in our views on Yoshi Wada's Lament For The Rise And Fall Of The Elephantine Crocodile can only mean one thing. It's that fucking good.
Two 30 minute tracks recorded in an empty swimming pool in 1981. The first one (titled "Singing") is made entirely of Wada's vocals, echoing and resonating throughout the pool. It starts out kinda scary, like you're entering The Temple Of Doom or something. But it rises and falls (sorry) and looses the eerie feeling, turning into something much more relaxing and transformative. I'm sure all sorts of fancy technical music terms could be used to describe how awesome this is but all I took was Intro To Music, so I'll just let Wada do the talking. (from the liner notes) "My concern is with the timbre and tuning of the multiple chords which enable me to evolve my improvisational singing and the mode in progression." If those words aren't good enough for you, then just listen to the song. This is truly a piece you need to hear for yourself as it's one that defies categorization.
And then there's the second track, "Bagpipe." Wada created his own bagpipe (originally called "An adapted bagpipe with sympathy") out of plumbing fittings and pipes, pumped with a large air compressor. What comes out is a beautiful almost static drone, with flitterings of high notes coming in and out of focus. It's gorgeous.
I can't recommend The Elephantine Crocodile enough. It's something so unique and wonderful, it really shouldn't be missed.