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
Pawn 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
Tomas Phillips.

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)