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 listing:

1. (rm)
2. Port
3. Line
4. Cycle
5. Window
6. Room
7. Cu
8. Sii
9. River
10. Moment
11. Rut
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)
BLEEP43  (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)
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)
catalog number: moar2
title: Rut
format: CD