With its unique fusion of industrial, noise and trip hop, Noiseconrete x 3chi5’s debut album Sandglass/Suna-Ji-Kei was my album of the year for 2016. Just a year later Shisou no Transit stakes a strong claim for itself among 2017’s best, picking up where its predecessor left off with twelve more tracks of eerie melodies, stomach-rattling beats and explosions of noise.
It covers more sonic ground this time round though, as evidenced by the run of tracks that takes you through the delicate piano of Ruten Orgel and the sinister clockwork atmospherics of Regulation into the more familiarly earsplitting harsh noise of Mephisto no Hai and the freeform melody of Magic Mirror Room. 3chi5’s voice shifts more frequently between background and foreground too, reciting her poetry along meandering melodic lines right up close on Tokunai Kouri, echoing from a distance on Jack O’Frost, and through a wall of distortion on Strange Prosperity.
Like a lot of second albums, it’s really a refinement of the original rather than a radical leap in a new direction, but it’s nevertheless a refinement that sees the duo mapping out more territory with confidence and to powerful effect.