Japan’s Nobuyuki Sakuma is a prolific artist; formerly of the Jesse Ruins duo on the Captured Tracks label, he now shifts time between his electronic music project CVN, curating the mix series Grey Matter Archives, and chief editor duties at Avyss Magazine. “I.C.” will be his second album for Orange Milk as CVN, and it is an eclectic hybrid of beat music and abstract electronics. There is a searching quality in his music, with leaps in variation from track to track that are meant to elicit the mutating feelings of walking through Tokyo.
The first track 成分 Seibun is a calm pop song featuring Japanese vocalist NTsKi, and feels like an initial encounter with nocturnal cityscapes. As the album progresses a stranger Japanese electronic music culture begins to emerge, referencing artists like good friend Foodman and label partner Koeosaeme with irreverent assertions of anti-genre music making. Tracks like “Snippets of Heaven” are reminiscent of music on the labels PAN or Halcyon Veil, cryptic and sparse with random industrial beats and scraping metal. “舌下 (Karaoke)” is a more forlorn piece with straightforward rhythm and deeply effecting use of repetition. Sakuma states that he lets mood dominate his track making and does not care if this transitioning emotion fits into a cohesive style. The skill of harnessing the random nature of each tracks aesthetic is impressive, resulting in an exciting record that faithfully documents its creators place and time.
It can take some time to adjust your ears to this but it's well worth it. This may be the most brilliantly inventive electronic music anybody is making right now and is a lot of fun to boot, unlike many of the po faced electronic avant garde. Miles Egan