Sawako – Hum (12K)


Kato Sawako’ work has always maintained a particular aesthetic – even her earliest field recording work carried with it a sense of blur and soft focus. This sentiment is most certainly carried further on “Hum’. While the title may suggest the congestion of electronics and the decay of audio signal, the fact of the matter is the album perhaps hints more and the use of voice as a tool. This seems reinforced by tiny smatterings of vocals layered into the textures of this record. The tentative presentation of vocals that emerge from time to time feel raw and heartfelt – as if Sawako is investigating what the possibilities of voice may be in her work. First impressions seem to suggest that there may be a greater place for them in future editions. What perhaps renders “Hum’ Sawako’ most complete work is the sense of coherence and flow that emerges over the course of the record. “Rush’ with its amazingly static quality and “Way Home From School’ that floats with an unusually buoyant ambience both share moods and sentiments, but remain very much individual statements in sound. As always her field recordings and rough looping remains a wondrous and powerful palette from which she creates.

Lawrence English