Vanishing Twin - Ookii Gekkou Music Album Reviews

Vanishing Twin - Ookii Gekkou Music Album Reviews
Propelled by Valentina Magaletti’s masterful drumming and assisted by collaborators like Stereolab’s Laetitia Sadier, the London group ventures further into its utopian parallel universe.

Reverently synthesizing Can’s left-field funk, Piero Umiliani’s lush spectral pop, and the deep-space jazz of Sun Ra, Vanishing Twin transmit from a dimension where big-tent optimism is the law of the land. Released with eerie prescience less than a year before a pandemic catapulted both public health and public indifference into the global consciousness, the band’s last album, The Age of Immunology, painted the London collective as a troupe of psychedelic dreamers without a drop of cynicism between them. Though their wistful collages occasionally stray into darker territory—see the brooding ecological warning on The Age of Immunology standout “You Are Not an Island”—it’s buoyed by an unshakeable belief in a future just beginning to reveal itself. “The noise of hope is like a racket in my heart,” mused primary vocalist Cathy Lucas on “Magician’s Success,” breathing light and childlike wonder into what could have been a cloying new-age sermon.

On Ookii Gekkou, Vanishing Twin venture further into their utopian parallel universe, expanding their borderless domain by drawing on a deeper bench of collaborators to flesh out its edges. The band’s players are longtime members of the Haha Sounds Collective, a group of London vocalists and instrumentalists guided by the same jazz, soundtrack music, and experimental techniques that form the core of the Vanishing Twin sound; they make extensive use of their talents here, most notably in decorating the grooves of “In Cucina” with an inspired free-jazz racket. Avant-pop icon Laetitia Sadier, a collective member herself, appears almost anonymously with a meandering guitar part in “Wider Than Itself,” but her presence feels like a long-awaited homecoming, satisfyingly connecting the retro-futurist dots between Stereolab and their eager proteges. Flautist Elliott Arndt, who departed from the band as a full-time collaborator in 2020, returns to contribute percussion and a sublime flute coda to Ookii Gekkou centerpiece “The Organism.” Having assembled their multi-generational crew, Vanishing Twin solidify their knack for crafting luminous, uplifting soundscapes using fragments of the past’s imagined future.

Much the way The Age of Immunology did on its opener, “KRK (At Home in Strange Places),” the world of Ookii Gekkou—which translates to “Big Moonlight” in Japanese—slowly crawls into view on the title track. The warbling tremolo of the guitar hook, feather-light ride-cymbal pulse, and twinkling mixed-meter glockenspiel make for a sublime post-rock introduction, setting the stage for Lucas’ dreamy description of the moon lifting into view. From here, Ookii Gekkou breaks the delicate balance of brainy jams and hook-forward pop established on their last album, falling headfirst into extended instrumental workouts that hew closer to the sonic wormholes of Choose Your Own Adventure.

While the subsequent Magic & Machines EP suggested that this approach might lead to endless, spiraling drift, Vanishing Twin tame the sprawl, fastening it tightly to Valentina Magaletti’s masterful drumming. Her contributions on percussion give Ookii Gekkou its controlled, versatile drive, giving her bandmates enough rope to spacewalk into mesmerizing sonics with abandon. Susumu Mukai’s lilting bass synth on “Zuum” bobs and weaves around Magaletti’s free-flowing snare rolls, with the drummer pulling back almost entirely in the bridge, punching up a wild keyboard solo with laser-guided accents. When she supplies the woozy xylophone melody for “The Organism,” Magaletti’s focused timekeeping allows for the synths of Lucas and former Broadcast sound manipulator Phil MFU to blend, buzz, and dissolve into a satisfying cosmic soup without losing the plot. When Magaletti stretches her experimental legs, already well conditioned from her work in the duos TOMAGA and Holy Tongues, she gives the band its finest instrumental moment yet on “In Cucina,” an avalanche of percussive texture that slides effortlessly through the ensemble’s abrasive melodies.

Ookii Gekkou’s more exploratory angle does come with the unexpected tradeoff of leaving their growing acuity for pop by the wayside. For all its heady thrills, the album delivers neither the breezy directness nor the hushed romance of some of their previous songwriting. Though latecomer “Light Vessel” condenses their philosophy into vocoder-tinged crooning and “Phase One Million” tries to relax into a dub-influenced bassline, both fall victim to wonky instrumental breaks that overstay their welcome. More willing than ever to flex their jazz chops, the Vanishing Twin of Ookii Gekkou sound best when settling in for the long haul, exploring the nooks and crannies of their pluralist fantasia with a microscopic attention to detail.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Vanishing Twin - Ookii Gekkou Music Album Reviews Vanishing Twin - Ookii Gekkou Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on November 01, 2021 Rating: 5


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