This is Yôko Higashi’s third hamaYôko album.
Retronica features contributions from Lionel
Marchetti and violinist Agathe Max.
The sample above, recorded at Higashi
and Marchetti’s performance in London in
September 2008, contains a beautiful version
of L’Affaire Tati, a track from Retronica.
Photo by Yôko Higashi, 2008
Yôko Higashi is a quite unique spirit, and listening to her halfway-
through-rags-and-riches acousmatic hotchpotches is becoming
a gratifying rendezvous on a regular basis. In Retronica, we find
ourselves surrounded by the well-dressed multidirectional anarchy
that this girl has grown us used to, full of malformed speeches and
uttered grunts, pitch-transposed atonal chanting, warped-to-death
samples, spiteful distortions and paroxysmal rhythms. But what’s
instantly noticeable by now is the enrichment of the compositional
traits of the music from a record to another, always granting
additional points in my scorecard: the nine tracks, despite the
myriads of apparently extraneous sounds (even slightly distressing
sometimes, gunshots and agonising vocal emissions belonging to
the recipe), demonstrate a preparative work that probably took
a long time before the definitive permission to publish them.
Or maybe this was all done in a couple of afternoons, who knows.
In 33 minutes of harmonic bedlam I couldn’t hit upon a weak point,
a brilliantly organised mess that ultimately privileges positivity to
annihilation. Aurally stimulating, cleverly efficient, theatrical in the
right moments, this is possibly hamaYôko’s finest outing to date.
Massimo Ricci at Touching Extremes