mOAR returns after a three year hiatus to present Suidô-Kan by
Hideki Umezawa which is overall more minimal and less melodic
than much of the electronic music published under his
moniker. Still, he manages to sneak some of his signature
glitches into at least one track (hear the sample).

Suidô-Kan was created from environmental sounds involving
water pipes, drainage pipes, rain, and improvising with faucet
frequencies (in a public restroom) and glass harmonica (a
xylophone made of glass tubes). Apart from six compositions
by Hideki, this release also features a remix track by

This release is the first one in the mOAR catalog to use the
custom inserts that and/OAR first introduced back in 2005 and
the first to be limited to 100 copies. In spite of this fact, it is a
replicated CD release (not a CDR).
catalog number: moar4
title: Suidô-Kan
format: CD
status: sold out
A Closer Listen (March 2012)
A typical complaint of the young is, “I’m so bored!  There’s
nothing to do!”  The opposite attitude is demonstrated by
Hideki Umezawa, who was inspired to create this album on a
rainy day after hearing “the water pipe sounds in a college
restroom”.  He then proceeded to experiment with the faucet,
eventually adding the sounds of drainage pipes and glass
harp.  This is atypical behavior, but Hideki Umezawa is an
atypical sound artist.  As Pawn, he creates percussive electronic
stylings from all manner of household objects, and on at least
one prior occasion has used a kitchen sink.  (Clearly the phrase
“everything but the kitchen sink” does not apply to him.)  He
has an obvious ear for the musical properties hidden in water,
and the computer and harmonica enhancements only serve to
highlight the pre-existing drips and flows.

Suido-Kan is a wet album through and through, but never a
deluge.  At its loudest, it remains merely a stream.  This
enhances the album’s meditative value; it’s neither as quiet nor
as single-toned as one might guess, and as a result, each of
the seven pieces (including a Tomas Phillips remix) possesses
a distinct timbre.  The album grows more active as it
progresses, with “Howling of Tubes 3″ offering splashes and the
droning of what sounds like prayer bowls, offset by a series of
bells and chimes.  “Howling of Tubes 4″ sounds more like
Pawn, thanks to the glass harp (which is really a xylophone, a
confusion of terms), light electronics and a small collection of
dropped objects; and the second half of the ensuing track
pushes even further into this territory.  But Unezawa’s closing
piece returns to the ambient/field recording territory of the
opening tracks, bringing the album full circle.  The last three
minutes are as soft as a shimmer.  Phillips’ piece neither adds
to nor detracts from the experience; it serves as an alternate
take, but can’t – and probably shouldn’t – compete with the
originals.  In the end, Suido-Kan is a fine day spent in
hydrogen and oxygen, and a welcome counterpart to Umezawa’
s main body of work.
(Richard Allen)