In a world where Mos Def can release an album as a t-shirt and bands all over the place are releasing music in the form of tote bags and worse, the idea of releasing music in an unusual format is not without precedent, but there’s still something rather charming in the sheer, dadaist pointlessness of Tokyo-based French electronic duo Lo-shi‘s decision to sell their debut album, Flasque, as a memory stick in a spice jar (with real spices).
The message-in-a-bottle delivery form is quite apposite as well, given the plaintive, drawn-out, alien drum’n’bass/krautrock (kraut’n’bass?) instrumentals that the album comprises. While the beats reveal Lo-shi as at least in part children of the 90s dance music revolution, the sweeping synths and reverb-heavy guitars of Piston also point to a duo of only partially closeted goths, and the distant telex of Calling Mir is a love letter to Tokyo’s loneliest synth-pop romantics (note to bands: If you want to get a good review on this blog, make a reference to Mir on your record). The music ranges from the grinding beats of the opening Rampant, through the propulsive Underworld-meets-The Shadows of Mother K, to the final, ambient docking of Yu-kaku, demonstrating familiarity and confidence with both electronic music and guitar pop without the two ever seeming to jar. Taken together, the six tracks and fifty-odd minutes of Flasque make for an atmospheric and curiously affecting transmission from a lost soul, an SOS from a deserted traffic island.