Tag Archives: Deltas

Call And Response Records — Appendix

As an appendix to the series of posts on the release history of my Call And Response Records label which started here, I’m just going to add a few more comments and thoughts.

First up, you’ll notice that the catalogue numbers often skip a few (and actually it doesn’t show here but in some cases are out of sequence). The reason for this is that some releases are free downloads or private CD/Rs and things that I chose to pass over in favour of the CDs I pressed and released professionally. They also sometimes fall out of sequence because I’m disorganised and sometimes things get delayed and something else slips into the gap. Anyway, this isn’t a big deal, but just in case anyone was wondering why the N’toko album was CAR-77 but the Black Sabbath Paranoid covers compilation was CAR-75, it’s because CAR-76 hasn’t been released yet die to production delays (next month, maybe?)Jebiotto (live at Kichijoji Planet K)

Looking forward, there’s a Jebiotto album (the much-delayed CAR-76) in the works, and a new issue of Quit Your Band! gradually taking shape, with Slow-Marico on the accompanying CD. There are friends of the label also working on new albums that even if they’re not on Call And Response, I’ll certainly be loudly cheering on, with Iguz Souseki’s psychedelic post-Zibanchinka band Futtachi foremost among these. September 27th 2014 will also mark the ten-year anniversary of the first Clear And Refreshing live event, so there’s going to be a big party to celebrate that.

Finally, in a purely hypothetical exercise (the last one was too recent for it to really be worth doing another one right now), I’m going to talk a bit about what a new Call And Response compilation in the Dancing After 1AM/1-2-3-Go! mould might look like if I were to make one now.

Firstly and obviously since it was only a year and a half ago, a lot of bands would be the same. Futtachi, Hysteric Picnic, Hyacca, Mir, Slow-Marico and Jebiotto would be right at the top of my list of people I’d be mailing. However, there are some bands who were on DA1AM who are probably a bit too famous or at least operate in a slightly more professional milieu now — bands who wouldn’t really benefit from being on the album and who I’m not really doing stuff at live events with these days. She Talks Silence, Extruders and The Mornings for example are bands I still very highly regard, but who are kind of above my level now, and while I’m not opposed to getting in popular bands who work musically with what Call And Response does, there is a balance between that and finding out new stuff that I feel should tilt more towards the latter than the former.Umez: Lingering Dream

Bands that have come onto my radar over the past year and a bit and who I’d definitely be trying to get something from for this hypothetical CD include indiepop jangleteers DYGL, noise-pop duo Umez, industrial/EBM duo group A, Fukuoka electronic glitchgaze duo Deltas, jittery Saga punk trio Hakuchi, Krautrock-kayoukyoku three-piece Fancy Numnum, new wave/artpunkers Compact Club, and Tokyo postpunk band illmilliliter. The marvellous Buddy Girl and Mechanic, who I missed out on with DA1AM, would be well up there among my priorities too, while it would please me greatly to get original 1-2-3-go! band Usagi Spiral A back to do something as well.Hakuchi: Suttokodokkoi

As I say, I’m in no hurry to make another compilation, but I’m not short of stuff I’m still excited enough by to do something with. Anyway, back to regular posting after this. Your attention has been greatly appreciated.

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Top 20 Releases of 2013: No.3 – Deltas – Float in the Light

This electronic duo from Fukuoka came onto our radar in 2012 via a hypnotic live performance at Utero (Fukuoka’s finest live venue) and a CD/R mini-album cryptically titled √DL_TS 2. This full-length album revisits some of the same material, dialling back on the more brutal noise extremes for the most part, but at the same time retaining its avant-garde ethos and incorporating it into the more ambient, organic elements seamlessly and coherently (as a side note, if any readers here can get the term “glitchgaze” trending on Twitter, that would be just marvellous).

Images from nature abound in the songs, but they’re filtered through the prism of technology: synthesised, interrupted, chopped up and spliced so that the resulting music staggers like a Frankenstein’s monster, a digital-organic cyborg sound that lashes out in dissonant bursts of noise like the magnificent pls=152 or drifts through space in ambient nature sounds like for˧t Oƒ W▲Ter. These elements are combined in all manner of creative ways, with a great example being Xt/Qm, a Kyushu shipping forecast cut and manipulated electronically to a beat, the band incorporating the inconstant FM signal, itself influenced by the weather conditions the radio reports, into the music.

Float in the Light is a restlessly creative album but more than that it’s a coherent artistic statement by an inordinately talented duo and one of the most striking, original albums of not only last year but in a long long time.

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Top 20 Releases of 2012: No.11 – Deltas – √DL_TS 2

√DL_TS 2

CD, self-released, 2012

Fukuoka is by far my favourite place in Japan to discover new bands, because you can guarantee that whenever you find something good there (and there is a lot of good stuff there, especially right now), you can pretty much guarantee that it’s good in a way that you didn’t expect, and that the people behind it will have sometimes subtly and sometimes extravagantly different approaches even to familiar genres and sounds compared to how things are done in Tokyo. In fact, perhaps due to its relative remoteness, the position that Fukuoka occupies in the Japanese music scene is similar to the position Japan has traditionally occupied in the world — the remote outpost where they do things differently.

Deltas are an electronic/noise guitar duo who combine noise, industrial, Warp Records-style ambient electronic music, and sweet, shoegaze-influenced melodies, and √DL_TS 2 is an awe-inspiring, dizzyingly inventive work that is at once defiantly avant-garde and shamelessly accessible, and sounds like absolutely nothing else in the country at this time.

ce3.50 is a snowstorm of harsh electronic noise interspersed with discordant bleeps and brutal arrhythmic beats, but it gives way quickly to the decidedly ambient, atmospheric and rather moving rain_/℃ without letting go of any of the elements that made the opener such a brutal assault on the senses. Deltas keep the beats, but slow them down and move the noise into the background, bringing gently chiming, harmonic elements to the fore, before, after waiting until half way through the track, vocals are introduced and it blooms into a sublime, My Bloody Valentine-esque melody.

xt/qm is seven minutes of eerie effects, samples and ambient noise, juxtaposing organic sounds like insects chirping and rainfall in the early segment with harsher, more mechanical sounds — TV static, distorted, automated vocal announcements and computer bleeps — like the soundtrack to a paranoid cyberpunk detective noir. pls_47 picks up where the opening track left off, ramping the effects back up to bleeding ears level, although employing it in the more structured framework of a thundering, industrial noise venture and even diverting into dance beats. Needless to say, both are beautiful pieces of music.

The final two tracks, 5-gatsu no [sakana]/// and 5-gatsu no [sakana]/// (Ichinose D Nozomi), are two different versions of the same song. Bearing notable similarities to Radiohead’s No Surprises, as well as recalling some of the more downbeat moments of Japanese alternative bands Supercar and Quruli’s early 2000s electronic explorations, the first version is the straighter of the two, with the latter incorporating more hyperactive, skittering underlying beats and electronic effects.

√DL_TS 2 should be the album you play to all potential friends, work colleagues and romantic partners as a way of pre-filtering their suitability. If they exhibit any response other than curling up into a quivering, foetal ball on the floor and weeping with joy, then you should have nothing to do with them.

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