Tamako Katsufuji – I Remember Only The Feeling I’ve Been Happy / I’ll Not Be In Your Time Tomorrow

Released simultaneously at the end of May, these two albums both take as their base field recordings or audio snapshots of quiet corners of daily life in Japan, occasionally distorted or treated with effects, and sometimes incorporating simple musical arrangements to one degree or another. I Remember… returning on more than one occasion to the sounds of children playing outside, while Umi yori mo sora yori mo fukai ao wo hito wa kaku koto ga dekirun yarou ka blue sets the nostalgic idyll of its melodica arrangement against the quiet rhythm of a train, seemingly recorded while travelling to the ocean. The title track that follows incorporates a passing train recorded from outside, which makes a far more disruptive, raucous rhythm as it rattles and crashes past, Katsufuji weaving disconcerting drones in and our of the found sounds, whether the rattle of the train or the sounds of children playing.

The second of the two albums, I’ll Not Be In Your Time Tomorrow, retains the focus on found sounds from daily life, focusing its interest on what Katsufuji describes as “twinkle sounds” — perhaps the jangle of cutlery, the chime of a bell, the spinning of a bicycle wheel, the flow of water over rocks, but often undecipherable, otherworldly, glistening on the border between organic and machine, offering no certainty as to which side they fall. These sounds are often intertwined with the more explicitly mechanical sounds, whether the roar of traffic and trains or Katsufuji’s own electronic manipulations, like man-made scrawls across a collage of the ambiguously natural. In both albums, the landscape Katsufuji creates is both familiar and touched with magic in the journey her shifting attention takes you.

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