+you / xccg – buranko (2016)

+you : xccg - buranko

Albums shared by multiple artists face challenges unique to the format of their work. The artists are often expected to have distinct compositional styles while also sharing enough common ground to justify the two being together. buranko dodges the aforementioned obstacles with ease.

The first chunk of the album consists of +you’s material, music that’s grounded in mixing contrasting textural noises. The first track, “coimbra he no tegami,” establishes a set of three spacial dimensions: the distant and reverberant sound of a singing man in a cathedral, the murmuring of nearby wind chimes, and the extremely close hurried scrawls of pen on paper. Another +you track, “sad,” is comparatively vacant. The recurring synth line is muffled, paired only with the ebb and flow of white noise breathing patterns. The repetition and unresolved nature of the synth motif is effective in sustaining a melancholy atmosphere for the duration of the song.

+you’s compositions are fascinating in that they combine radically different sound motifs of varying timbre and complexity. The individuality of the motifs themselves — writing scratches and clicking pens, diving and resurfacing in a pool of sparkling water, a piano in the room next door —  allow the listener to observe them in isolation. Their juxtaposition, however, forces one to observe the interactions between one another.

xccg’s contributions conclude the album perfectly. After establishing a shift in compositional style, xccg draws buranko to a close with “leva,” bookending the album with ambient compositions that incorporate distant male vocals as their focus.

This split tape by +you and xccg is meditative, introspective, and stands among my favorite albums of 2016.

Favorite Tracks:

“sad” by +you

“toma” by xccg

 

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Author: Ben Heels

I am an independent music writer based in Lewiston, Maine. I write about new music that I believe is noteworthy — overlooked labels, up-and-coming artists, bedroom producers, et al. — and seek to give them the attention and press they deserve.

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