catalog number: moar2
title: Rut
format: CD
Continuing onward with the new mOAR division of
and/OAR, we next have Yuki Kaneko's Rut, a beautiful
sparkling kaleidoscopic homage to the common wonders
of day to day life, which displays this young composer's
already great talent for subtly weaving together
complex textures of electronic and acoustic sound
sources into cleverly abstract melodic musings.

A first "draft" or version of Rut was released on Magic
Book Records in Japan a few months prior. This version
is remastered and remixed (with one new track) which
improves the flow and heightens the emotive dynamics
of the entire release. Needless to say, and/OAR is quite
pleased to present this version of Yuki Kaneko's debut
solo album which is limited to 300 copies (the Magic
Book version was issued at 500 copies).

Yuki Kaneko is a sound artist based in Tokyo. Since 2001
Yuki has been involved with acoustic sound design,
soundtracks for various stage productions, sound
installations, and he runs his own CDR label called
PhaseRubRec. One of Yuki's projects (hum) was featured
in Improvised Music From Japan 2009 magazine/CD x 3.

Track List:

1. (rm)
2. Port
3. Line
4. Cycle
5. Window
6. Room
7. Cu
8. Sii
9. River
10. Moment
11. Rut

TOUCHING EXTREMES  (December 2008)
Incalculable. Such is the number of records that I've
listened to featuring computer-based melodic materials
constructed upon fragments of samples, regular
instruments and tiny bell-like snippets, with the
inevitable addition of glitch, white noise interference,
small fractures, environmental shades. This particular
one - a different remake of a CD originally released by
Magic Book in Japan and which this writer is not familiar
with - has the merit of sounding a little more suggestive,
even touching in parts ("Cycle" and "Moment" are very
much likeable "songs" indeed). Those snapshots seem
to evoke memories from childhood and summers spent
in useless search of meanings while staring at the sea.
But, we ask, how many chances are given to artists who
release music that just places itself in a veritable mass
of similar outings? On the other hand, dedicating a hour
or less to a record like "Rut" is always better than
watching a single minute of TV, therefore I'll keep the
similarities, shut up and enjoy this electronic concoction -
if not with gratitude, at least thinking that it sounds nice
for its large part. Now that I'm listening to it again,
relaxed and semi-sleepy, it is almost perfect for the
occasion. (Massimo Ricci)

(October 2008)
It’s often difficult to write about this sort of music
without verbally disembowelling oneself, venturing deep
into a thesaurus in order to seek out adjectives long
gone; dusty phrases extricated from a treasure trove of
musical descriptions not used by anyone else. Kaneko, a
Tokyo-based sound artist specialising in installations,
has put together an intriguing album of flickering noises
and found sounds that threatens to overhaul my own
musical dictionary, as clusters of electronic bubbles and
whispers coalesce and fall apart over 11 tracks.

“Rut” is warm in feel, inevitably recalling the balmy
fragments of noise that shaped Fennesz’s “Endless
Summer”, but retaining a microscopic element, as no
sound is elongated or indeed allowed to dominate
proceedings, often fading into the background to allow
another element to breathe. Melody hovers in the
distance, never coming to the fore until late on in the
album when traditional instrumentation such as the hint
of a guitar appears on “Moment”. There’s no doubt that
the word “playful” comes to mind, and it’s an aesthetic
that is common amongst other Japanese sound artists,
such as Sawako, never wanting to fully phrase a musical
idea to completion, instead happy to let the ideas go
their own way, often collapsing and eventually
rebuilding of their own volition. The minuscule attention
to detail means that often the bigger picture is missed
out upon, but I don’t think that Kaneko’s work suffers
from this as his mission seems to be to colouring the
sonic world of everyday life, the droplets of water and
the incessant chattering of  electronic drones and
metallic noises that permeate “Rut” recalls the
idiosyncratic mix of sustained silence and urbanity that
colours living in a place like Tokyo. 
(Toby Frith)

THE MILK FACTORY  (September 2008)
Yuki Kaneko's programming, though it often bears
resemblance to the whistles and squawks of an
obviously intrigued and excited parakeet, operates well
within the contours of coherent identity. With continued
attention, what at first blush seemed a trifle meandering
and indulgent, soon leaks into the subconscious owing
to its untrammeled imagination, natural lucidity, and
stylistic and thematic considerations and limitations.

The album is something of a homage to summertime -
but the parallel is largely of a symbolic sort: tracks aren't
concerned with transcription, nor observation for that
matter; they maintain, reassess, and coquettishly play
around with their distance from and relation to this point
of reference, this aura of summer that, though always
suggested, only ever appears in fragmented, less
familiar forms. A common, silver-footed momentum is
established from the outset and sustained. Kaneko has
an aptitude for sounding fresh and largely free from
cliche while not appearing self-consciously outlandish. It
plummets into a series of effusive free-ranging tumbles
with shunted and clanging particles and adroit, gently
spilling loops of percussion and other anonymous
instruments. The instruments and dense scrum of field
recordings generally play a shadowing and shading
role.  They accommodate the flickering electronic
particles, agitated percussively at a molecular level, in
ways that set their idiosyncrasies to advantage, cast
them in shifting, relatively unfamiliar lights and whet the
appetite for more. 

It's thus as much an invitation to ponder as it is a
journey through a particular soundpool. This ferment of
textures and quick pulses that began the work are then
besieged and decanted as the album ambles on. With all
the necessity and graceful degradation of a summer as
it swings into a temperate fall, the space opens up while
the elements themselves are truncated. Its this very
trajectory that arrests the attention most; this swift,
sure-footed sequence which reserves a place for and
takes advantage of each moment of contrast and
continuity and, in so doing, better enables one to view
and experience each of the calligraphic gestures in full. 
Almost as a rule of thumb, records which deal in such
imaginary menagerie make concessions to button-
pushing and narrow dynamics. Kaneko doesn't give an
inch.  He canvasses such terrain with quiet authority,
producing pieces that are febrile and precise, sharp and
cleansing. (Max Schaefer)

SMALLFISH  (September 2008)
and/OAR's sister label, mOAR, releases its second album
and, blow me down, if it's not an absolute beauty. Yuki
Kaneko's "Rut" is an instantly likeable rummage through
delicate electronic music that brings to mind labels such
as 12k or Plop. There's a playfulness to the sounds and
arrangements (for example, the cheeky rhythm structure
on the first track) yet it has its serious side too with
some killer manipulations and textural work. Kind of like
Sora meeting Sawako round at the Spekk office and
recording the outcome. If you like any of the previously
mentioned artists or labels, this is a must listen. I feel
mOAR may well be going places and as such I'm very
pleased to be able to bring you this fabulous release.
(Mike Oliver)