The Silent Ballet shameless plugs, Volume Eleven. Anoice - Out of Season.


Ago 19 2008, 1h23

Ricco Label

Score: 8/10

After the release of the indispensable solo work of Takahiro Kido, here comes Anoice's Out Of Season, a project under the terrible pressure of topping 2006's Remmings. Out of Season takes on the dreaded role of the album that comes after the fantastic debut, the one which can supposedly affirm or end the presence of a band. By now firmly implanted in the minds of obscure music listeners, the six members of Anoice make neo-classical music that flirts with the boundaries of experimentation and ambience. If you're put off by the ever-increasing amount of technical terms and genre names and are more attached to emotions and feelings, consider that Anoice makes music that moves you.

In structure, Out of Season does resemble its predecessor, as it is composed of four very melodic songs surrounded by smaller segments that focus on experimentation. While the record as a whole is less accessible, and sees the band dare to wander off of the beaten path more openly, it still revolves around the same formula: Anoice's music is so beautiful that each note is as a still from a movie projected onto your closed eyelids. The comparison to great film scorers is an obvious one: where "Glitch" reminds of Max Richter's best pieces, the opening of "Short Film" has the passion of a sonata by Michael Nyman. Anoice's favorite pastime is to make you travel to places you haven't been, or put you in situations you haven't experienced, through their music. In "id," you find yourself hiking through plains that extend as far as the eye can see. "Short Film" lays you on a bed of sakura petals, in the midst of an afternoon in Kyoto's spring.

Yes, the feeling of Remmings is still there. Nonetheless, the means have changed. Remmings rocked, Out of Season gently pitches forwards and backwards. The bass that grooved so often in the past now hums, the piano oscillates between loud melodies and low, caressing backgrounds. The drums are less heard, yet more present. The sound is liberating to the listener because you can feel that the musicians made the conscious decision to be more free in their song-writing.

Unfortunately, this venture into mixing both sides of their music takes a lot of strength out of the experimental glimpses that seperate each "big" track. Once again, it feels a bit like these tracks are only filler material, and it hits even harder when the experimentation is done just as well in the core of their majestic pieces.

Freedom, especially in music, paradoxically needs to be channeled for the listener to feel the same pleasure the artist did when he wrote and recorded his creations. It asks for the utmost precision, for more concentration. Bottom line, it is more time and effort-consuming than a more restricted approach. But when it's done well, nothing can top its creativity. If the members of Anoice hadn't already nearly proved to be capable of such an accomplishment, I would just say that Out of Season is a excellent album. In the present situation, I feel compelled to say that this is an album that, had it been given more thought and more polish, would have been capable of reaching greater heights. Maybe Takahiro Kido and his pals, having spent most of last year writing and performing for side-projects, have lost focus on their main band and it somehow damaged this new album, making it only excellent when it could have been truly amazing. Then again, if you've listened to Fleursy Music, you'll side with me when I say that it's a loss I'm willing to take.

Original link: The Silent Ballet


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