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ARTIST
TITLE
Madoromi
FORMAT
CD

LABEL
CATALOG #
ANTICIP 003CD ANTICIP 003CD
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
11/6/2007

This is Tokyo/NYC-based Sawako's third full-length album, Madoromi, (a Japanese word which loosely translates to the state of being between sleep and waking). Kato Sawako presents a narrative universe of spacy, dreamy in-between-ness. Working through the woozy shift of the album's arc, one emerges at the other end with a return to a physical world decidedly of the present tense. Filled with contrast and dynamics, Madoromi firmly places Sawako at the forefront of the softly-colliding aspects of the digital and organic -- showing that she manages to hang in the fold between these worlds and access each with aplomb. Subtle electronics frame abstracted instrumental source material (vibraphone, guitar, cello, music box) and a variety of real-world sound (random objects, distant, disembodied voices and the occasional presence of Sawako's faintly-whispered vocals). With tracks like "Uta Tane" and "Far Away," she highlights the acoustic elements, rather than obscure the natural beauty of the sound for the sake of finding something new, which helps to further bring out the qualities that were quietly hiding beneath the surface. On songs like "Kira Kira" and the album closer "Tiny Tiny," Sawako uses chimes and tones that twinkle and pop, reminding one of hazy memories recalled through developed and reconfigured memory banks. Existing somewhere between the art gallery, the headphone commute and the bed-time ritual, Sawako's sound traverses boundaries such as digital minimalism, ambient and electro-acoustic -- arriving at a singular approach which feels both mental and tender -- restraining itself from going too far in either direction. Finding the melodies within the melodies, the fragments are assembled into soft, resonating compositions that combine all the fragility of a lone person playing toy instruments in their room with the technological prowess of skilled DSP processing. These qualities add up to a warm, moody, forward-minded balance, which defines Sawako's music.