Release Date: February 14th
Tentenko shows a surprising consistence in her new Experimental record.
Despite its infamous identity, anyone who follows the Japanese music industry can recognize that BiS has been one of the most significant projects that hit the Idol scene in the last years, and its influence is still lurking around this niche as most of the former members have either took part in new groups or solo projects, all of them still firmly tied to Idol sonorities.
Black sheep of the now defunct group, Tentenko is the only member that entirely detached herself from the Idol world in both sound and image, pursuing the most personal and introspective path that unavoidably makes her the most intriguing act to follow in the aftermath following the disbandment of BiS. Composer since a young age and now enriched by the experience in a proper group, she finally started her solo career thanks to a lucky crowdfunding campaign and opened her own label TENTENRECORDS, where she releases albums and EPs at a frantic pace taking full advantage of her total independency, free of expressing herself in her own personal way. It’s a spontaneous approach that’s as fascinating as attractive, but as natural consequence of her personality, Tentenko’s experimental way of composing is not to everyone’s taste, nor it pretends to be.
Aka to Kuro is no exception, and the fact it’s almost entirely recorded with a Casio “Casiotone” MT-40 says it all. Still, despite being far from the welcoming sonorities of her single Good bye, Good girl, this six-tracks record is a slightly more accessible experience, despite showcasing its fair share of weird moments, mostly residing in the opener Kuro no Funauta, featuring samples of a creaking door and water noises constantly looping for all the length of the track, as Tentenko’s laconic singing is accompanied by high-pitched, distorted notes and creepy background sonorities: It’s the most particular and unwelcoming track on this record, and the fact it’s been placed as opener makes me doubtful on wether it was made on the crazy purpose to make people stop the record immediately. What’s sure is that all that comes later doesn’t represent anything exactly accessible, but still something that works in its own way and expresses the personality of this girl. Lo-fi is the key word here, and it permeates the entire record that explores different approaches while constantly floating on a creepy atmosphere: from the redundant singing of Bajin Burusu and its shy synths framed by distorted melodies that meld up together surprisingly well, to the deep beats and oppressive vibes of Inaka and the lunatic noise of Obake, Tentenko shows an almost surprising consistence in most of these tracks, experimenting different combinations without creating stylistic gaps, even in more laid-down numbers like Bigfoot or in the noisy chip-tune euphoria of Akai Egekai.
Tentenko found her own (undoubtedly particular) style and it’s putting it at the service of her will of expressing certain feelings and states of mind . It’s not easy to create a cohesive experience when approaching music composition in such an experimental and spontaneous way, and while far from being a fully accomplished work, several tracks in Aka to Kuro show a remarkable consistence while following a precise flow between each other, resulting in an experience that’s sonically unpredictable and features several valuable moments for anyone fancying mysterious, alienating and sometimes creepy layers of experimental electronic music. Not for everyone, but for all who can enjoy it.
Vote: 6.5 / 10
01. Kuro no funauta
02. Bajin Burusu
06. Akai Egekai
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