Label: Detroit Underground
Release Date: 28/11/2014
Yu Miyashita takes the form of two very different projects. More recently, he has been composing under his birth name, painting boundless, cinematic soundscapes and employing his craft as a professional sound designer to stretch the imagination far beyond its borders. Much, much more could be written on Miyashita’s ambient work (see here) but it’s his longer running project - Yaporigami - that I’ll concentrate on for the moment. The Yaporigami project is markedly more ‘physical’ than the other, and is grounded in heavy-duty dynamics and painstaking attention to detail. His latest release on Detroit Underground serves as something of a manifesto of this more rhythmically-driven sound; a chapter of his dance floor work enclosed in one release.
Despite the fact that the track names on this EP are variations of the same verb; ’Am’, ‘Is’, ‘Are’, ‘Was’, ‘Were’, ‘Be’, ‘Being’ and ‘Been’, the music of Yaporigami is far from one thing. Take ‘Be’; a nauseating vacuum filled with motor-driven glitches and stomach-turning glissandos of cello, or ‘Was’; a deformed cousin from Objekt’s neo-electro family but underpinned with snarling growls of sub-bass. ‘Is’ lumbers forward haphazardly with giant mechanical steps, whilst the EP’s closer, ‘Been’, feels like a lethargic smack in the face before the final bell of a boxing match. Each time the sound feels graspable, Miyashita moves one step ahead, leading the listener down a garden path before pulling the rug beneath your feet. Even the name of this EP evades total comprehension, each word knocking the reader sideways down a jagged alley; ‘drudged’, ‘torn’, ‘routine’…
It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly what makes the Yaporigami work stand out. Indeed, it’s difficult to tease out any specific feature of Miyashita’s music that can be isolated and examined more closely. Instead, every idea woven is from the same fabric, each texture intertwined with another, anonymously blending together in stealthy unification. Sure, there are semblances of convention that we may cling to as a listener - the pounding thud of peak-time kicks on ‘Am’, for example - but it’s impossible to separate these features from the overarching structure, so skillfully entwined are the elements of each and every piece.