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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Sachiko - Anro [Utech Records - 2012]

The press release for Anro tells a lot about the name, which means 'dark path', but nothing at all about the music or the project involved.  I decided, then, to approach the review blind: only knowing that this is a single 37 minute piece about dark paths.  This is what I thought whilst listening.

The piece opens with a strange, tribal sounding chaos of droning strings and screeching flutes, joined by... is that percussion?  Strange jangling metallic sounds which could simply be background noise.  The flute dies away, replaced by what could be a strained voice, or perhaps a strange, exotic instrument.  Ten minutes in, some sort of string melody appears - briefly.  The drone continues, voices and instruments loosely playing around, almost raga-like.  It reminds me of the more freeform pieces by Six Organs of Admittance.  The piece seems to be invoking something.  In fact, didn't the press release say something about that?   "Sachiko invokes ritual from voice, instrument and magic, expressing the entity of the next world at the boundary."  Yes, this definitely brings to mind a ritual.  Eastern in sound, raw and tribal in feel.  A celebration, or a ceremony, or an invocation.  Seventeen minutes and the strings and percussion are definitely playing to some form of rhythm.  I wonder what is being invoked here.  Twenty-five minutes in, beginning to think maybe there is a specific mood for this kind of music.  Thirty-five minutes, it's still going in much the same manner.  And it's over.

Depending on your individual taste, this release is either very much for you, or it's not.  The range of sounds and instruments is interesting, with a broad range of textures, but unless you have an incredibly patient ear, or a particular interest in repetitive acoustic drones with a raga feel, then your patience may well be tested to the limit long before Anro has reached the halfway point.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Ross Baker
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