Hitodama: Kujaku (Screwed & Chopped)

Hitodama is the solo project of Tokyo-based British experimental musician Dave McMahon, and occupies a position at the more ambient pole of a range that runs through the sometimes blistering soundscapes he creates with the band Jahiliyyah to the ferocious noise rants he co-creates as half of Shigai.

Kujaku (Screwed & Chopped) is a remix of a track originally recorded for Wigan-based On The Grind Records’ limited-edition Colours compilation cassette, with the original’s synth loop slowed down to about half speed, and gradually overwhelmed by echo, distortion and noise that eventually resolves itself into the recognisable sound of a guitar. This isn’t harsh, confrontational noise though: it’s far too romantic and nostalgic for that, coming at you in washes of melody and fuzz, like mist rolling in over hills or TV static in a dream. In fact, more than anything (apart from the obvious hat tip to DJ Screw) the way this track resolves itself reinforces in my mind the continuing relevance of frequent Clear And Refreshing reference points Flying Saucer Attack and their distinctive brand of rural psychedelia.

While Kujaku (Screwed & Chopped) is defiantly ambient, it’s when you turn up the volume that the richness of its layers and textures, as well as the care and attention McMahon lavishes on the mid, stands out. It’s a beautiful piece of music, and listen LOUD.

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