Illuha - Shizuku (12k, 2011)
Continuing 12k’s journey into the world of subtle yet extremely beautiful instrumental music, ‘Shizuku’ comes from two musicians based in Tokyo; Corey Fuller and Tomoyashi Date. The album was recorded in a one hundred year old church, and while the sounds might be extremely low-key, their impact is amplified many times by the sheer reverberating grandeur of the space in which it was recorded. Haunted analog synthesizer tones sit like pillows beneath pipe organ, accordion, Rhodes piano, dulcimer and piano to create music that is so understated it is almost poetic. Indeed mid-way through the record we are treated to a haunting piece of spoken word, and even though it is in Japanese, it’s hard not to be moved by the words and distinct sound of the voice. While it would be easy to lump ‘Shizuku’ in with a great deal of other understated Japanese electronic records around at the moment, there is something very unusual about it that sets Illuha head and shoulders above their peers. There is a darkness and sense of melancholy that eschews the trend for prettiness and creates a lasting impression on the listener, and that alone is worth the asking price. A truly gorgeous and haunting album.
From Boomkat review