Posthumous acclaim for prolific Japanese producer Susumu Yokota has been building for a good while now. His vinyl releases have always been sought-after, many now seeing reissues, and CD-only albums from his vast array of aliases receiving first time pressings. This belated global recognition I’m sure due, helped, in no small part by the excellent Susumu-focussed article published by Wax Poetics last year. To my knowledge though, this is the first cover version.
Susumu`s Lo Recordings label-mate, the mysterious, secretive, Seaming To, here tackles The Natural Process, a track from one of the electronic savant`s lesser known sets, 2009`s Mother – a collection of collaborations with a tag team of vocalists; Anna Brønsted, Casper Clausen, Nancy Elizabeth, Panagiotis Gikas, Claire Hope, Kaori Kaneko, and Caroline Ross. The new take is actually a pretty respectful, straight shot at a piece of what was admittedly already fairly avant pop. A slow, super sparse march of minimal synths, with a just dash of darkness drifting in. Seaming To`s jazz-inflected ethereal, multi-tracked vocals circling, creating a kind of alien doo-wop – like a mutated Manhattan Transfer trapped in the Twilight Zone, and the vibe reminiscent of Rare Silk`s sublime Storm.
The E.P. also features two Seaming To originals. proneandsupine is a Laurie Anderson – O Superman-esque, wordless lullaby. An arrangement of interwoven, overlapping, whispers, where Meredith Monk`s Sigh becomes a warm summer breeze.
Test Patterns` slightly menacing buzz is like an ancient myth put to very modern music. A distorted fuzz, fog, broken by a burst of siren-like song. Its beauty as if off in the distance. The haunting, enchanted harmonies casting their spell within cycling, chiming, sequences. The magical melodies then cutting to crunching, collapsing, industrial noise, the sonic equivalent of, suddenly, rocks, sealing the fate of tempted travellers. Arpeggios race, a collision of kosmische and techno, signalling, signposting, drama, and danger, before finally leaving the singer solo, alone in their lure once more.
Seaming To`s Natural Process E.P. is out now, on Lo Recordings.