Album of the Year So Far
Accursed CDs! So many great albums that I forget to listen to because I always go for the vinyl first when I'm looking for something to play. This, friends, is my pathetic excuse for not having written about Solo, the latest album from Noriko Tujiko.
Solo is somewhat erroneously titled because it probably features more collaborators than any previous Noriko album. I'm in a good position to judge this because I have most of her (many) CDs (and one 12"). If I'm honest, a lot of Noriko's stuff sounds pretty similar - dreamy cooing over shifting, glitchy sound-scapes. But if I'm really honest, I have to say I wish she had more, more, more stuff because I really can't get enough.
I think it's truly fantastic that Juana Molina is getting so much love from the music bloggers I read on a day-to-day basis. Juana is a fantastic songwriter, an imaginative arranger and an extremely charismatic performer. And yet, whenever I hear her music, it mostly makes me wish I was listening to Noriko Tujiko. The comparison may seem trite - yes, yes they're both atmospheric female singer-songwriters with experimental electronic edge and non-English lyrics. What I'm getting at, though, is that the difference between Juana and Noriko is precisely the difference between great and really great music. While Juana's songs take one on a thoroughly pleasurable journey, Noriko's create a world of total bliss that inevitably self-immolates into a state of utter airless delirium.
Solo is full of such delirious sound-world explosions and features some of Noriko's very finest songs - especially "Ending Kiss", "Let Me See Your Face" and the absolutely titanic "Gift". It's also nice to see her recording for Peter "Pita" Rehberg's Editions Mego label again. "Nice" isn't the word - it's wonderful.