experiments in music

Test Tone vol. 17


Experiments in music

test tone presents vol. 17

November 7, 2006 (Tuesday) 20:00 to 24:00 at Super Deluxe, Nishi Azabu, Tokyo.


SKIST (Polarity Records)

Skist is the experimental song unit of Samm Bennett and Haruna Ito. Their music addresses an expanded capacity of the ear and emotion, through a less linear use of sound, rhythm, melody and words than the conventional pop song: a bridge in an open-ended relationship between performer and listener.

Their performance methods are ever-changing, as they are keenly interested in exploring untried strategies in making music together, and adamant about not falling into easy patterns and systems.

Their first release (Ellipsis) featured mostly programmed beats, but more recent live shows have seen a shift toward more live playing of electronic percussion (notably, the WaveDrum) as well as an increasing use of acoustic percussion such as Talking Drum and Frame Drum. combined with their trademark translucent sonic textures and Haruna's airy vocals.

Though they have been likened to and share characteristics with song-based electronica and IDM, Bennett, who is essentially a funk drummer and former student of African drumming, lays down an intricate percolating rhythmic bed over which Ito composes and develops strangely organic digital feedback-based textures that crackle, whistle, buzz and hum, unfolding a curious landscape evoking both nostalgia and unsettling. Through this rich fabric, Haruna's clear voice and nebulous poetry weaves as another thread, balancing against rhythm and texture rather than as the music's focal point, distinguishing the sound of Skist from most other forms of "popular" music with vocals.

Skist's further developed sound, reflecting their more recent explorations in live rhythm, can be heard on their new second album Taking Something Somewhere, released September 30, 2006.

[from the artists' Web site]

LEGOFRIENDLY (Intervall-Audio / Soundispatch)

Legofriendly has been making quirky but determinedly accessible electronic music since 2002 when Stan Eberlein and Peter Slade met in Tokyo and decided to collaborate for an upcoming live performance. It soon became apparent that the partnership was a productive one, with many of the ideas from these early sessions going on to become the six tracks that make up Form, a limited release CD-R (2003). Test Tone vol. 17 celebrates the re-release of this work as a free MP3 download from Intervall-audio [IA001] and Soundispatch, as well as showcasing some new tracks unheard outside the LF editing room. Prepare to move your feet.


Yoshio Machida is a Tokyo-based sound & visual artist. Born in Japan in 1967.

He had participated to events/music festivals like ISEA2004, Sonar-Tokyo, Maerz Musik, etc. "Aferimage" (from the album, Hypernatural #2) had been used as the soundtrack for French TV spot, "Visual" in 2005.
He has expressed in the motifs of "light, echo and possibility", inspired by Pan-East Asian sun worship basis, and based on the experience of international cooperation work. In the 90s, he had been making "collage" painting & sound work. Now he mainly plays Steel Pan (that was chosen as an instrument can be symbol of light, like Asian Gong) and makes "PHOTOBATIK" (is neither photograph nor photogram, it's his original art that he expresses delicate beauty using only light, without camera). The music can be listened as ambient, experimental, electro-acoustic, noise, electronics, and contemporary music.

In 2004, Machida founded Amorfon, a borderless experimental music label and a platform for contemporary art event. The aim is cross cultural synergy, it's his expression for importance of "relationship". He also has some unique workshop for children through his art activity.

[From the artist's Web site]

For this Test Tone set, Machida will be joined by Soundispatch's own Cal Lyall (guitar + electronics) for what promises to be a treat of improvisation and experimentation.

01.01.2007. 01:30