BOLTLP009: Glued on Thin Memories
Release date: 29th July 2010
CD and Digital
THIS RELEASE IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE FROM THE BOLTFISH CATALOGUE ON CD. HOWEVER, YOU CAN STILL PURCHASE IT VIA DIGITAL DOWNLOAD FROM A RANGE OF ONLINE RETAILERS.
"An extremely impressive solo debut from Sabi that easily represents one of the ambient electronic highlights of this year"
"... a pretty flawless electronic record"
"Luminous and swarming with ideas"
All tracks © Sabi/Boltfish Recordings 2010
Track 5 - Original track by Leon Somov feat. Jazzu
Sleeve Design by Taro Peter Little and Yoshitaro Yamazaki/KOMTENA
Mastered by Wil Bolton
Glued on Thin Memories is Sabi's first release on Boltfish Recordings and his debut solo full-length CD release. It ranges widely in style and pace, from electronica and IDM tracks to ambient pieces and processed piano interludes. However, despite this diversity, the album retains a strong sense of continuity throughout. Many of the tracks are seamlessly mixed into one another and are held together by common sonic characteristics, most notably an organic quality to the sounds and arrangements, a warmth and depth to the tones and textures, and a highly developed use of melody and harmonic progression.
Tracks such as Halfspine, Screaming Bulb and Mote Diver are classic melodic electronica, mixing glowing synth lines with crunchy beats and clicky rhythms. The title track and Burning on a Tiny Black Lake are more minimal, fuzzy and melancholy piano melodies emerging from a bed of static and granular textures. Suspended Monks, Blurred Bolt and Signals Left are lushly textured ambient tracks, layering piano with processed field recordings and drones, whilst Three Blind Queens in Cyan blends found sounds and grainy textures with atmospheric synthesizer chords, pads and discrete rhythmic elements. The album also features Sabi’s remix of the track Mano by Leon Somov feat. Jazzu.
"A very competent and well-executed album released on the relentless and yet very friendly Boltfish Recordings’ label in 2010.
This 15 track album opens up with a classic take on electronic beats born on the other side of the ‘big’ sea and may not be groundbreaking for 2011. However, the workmanship is most definitely there and it continues on with more lush US references and in a very good form at that.
Track four ‘Screaming Bulb’ is nothing short but excellent, effective; warm yet mildly complex, very nice build-up and nice processed vocal based melody and stretching 10:19 to boot. The Sabi remix of ‘Mano’ is more than good, it brings out the sun and beach in an instant and in all its straightforwardness it is simply put a beautiful piece of music.
I don’t know much about who Sabi is, however the talent is obvious and so is the display of knowledge of the output of contemporary electronic music the past decade or so. Not excluding Boltfish and the nearby musical surroundings, the reason for making that comment is that there are more than one or two unmistakable influences in there, it is a very well executed album nevertheless."
CD Journal (Japan)
"In the wake of his 2008 split album collaboration with Kiyo 71:36, Glued On Thin Memories represents Little’s first true solo longplayer, and sees crafting an immersive and dreamlike collection that fluidly drifts between lush near ambience and more rhythmically energetic broken, glitchy electronics. Opening track ‘Halfspine’ gives good indication as to the abiding gauzy aesthetic here as soft burbling electronics murmur against sharp-focus rattling broken rhythms, robust handclaps rising up in the mix to propel the track forward as harsh bursts of digital noise counterplay off elastic-sounding Moog-y bass rhythms, the addition of tinkling classical keys calling to mind one of Plaid’s elegant yet treacherous arrangements.
By contrast, ‘Three Blind Queens In Cyan’ goes for a more widescreen atmosphere, using the vast wash of field recordings as an ambient backdrop for warm, lurking bass runs and shimmering electronic textures, shortly before the entire track descends into a hypnotic ebb of glittering reverb and tentative synth ripples, while ‘Screaming Bulb’ takes things off on an epic ten minute long ambient wander through shuffling, digitally processed breakbeats and winding Moog bends that manages to piece together a lineage between mid-period Tangerine Dream-style synth-prog and contemporary n5MD-esque glitch-IDM with stellar results. Elsewhere, there’s a remix of Leon Somov’s ‘Mano’ that offers up the one vocally-tinged moment here as rich female soul tones bleed out over a shimmering backdrop of melodic arpeggios and shuffling syncopated rhythms in an atypical Latin-ambient moment that perhaps sits slightly awkwardly against the rest of the original Sabi productions gathered here, before ‘Burning On A Tiny Black Lake’ and ‘Melting Antennas’ blend trailing, classically-influenced keyboards with a wash of soft-focus electronic ambience that calls to mind Harold Budd and Eno’s collaborations with its sense of inexorably slow-burning calm. An extremely impressive solo debut from Sabi that easily represents one of the ambient electronic highlights of this year."
"En près de dix ans de carrière, Glued On Thin Memories se révèle n’être que le premier album de Sabi. Pour l’occasion, le Japonais, que l’on avait pour l’instant croisé sur Cactus Island, Sutemos ou Merck, fait escale chez les Anglais de Boltfish, label parfaitement adapté pour une musique aux éléments apparemment bien connus. De fait, caractère assez franc des sonorités, polyrythmie, melodies superposées et travail sur la durée semblent, au début de l’album, dessiner un horizon electronica assez traditionnel (Halfspine, Screaming Bulb).
Mais avec un remix d’un morceau de Leon Somov par le Japonais (Mano), le disque quitte ces territoires assez balisés pour tout d’abord s’attacher à une électro-pop chantée par la Lituanienne Jazzu, puis à une ambient arythmique avec nappe traitée en arrière-plan (Signals Left et Uki 4_1) ou à une electronica aux consonances plus oniriques (Melting Antennas). Parvenu à ce stade, on s’attend à une inflexion différente pour chaque titre et on est alors guère surpris d’être confronté à l’electronica-dub de Music For Stones + Dore Cigales, voire de revenir à une electronica plus traditionnelle (Mote Diver).
Avec cet album suffisamment long en bouche et varié pour plaire, Sabi ne dévoile pas forcément une personnalité extrêmement singulière ou renversante, mais ne lasse jamais et se fait toujours intéressant. Ce n’est pas négligeable."
Nowlikephotographs - Record of the week
"The merits and subtleties of music that evokes vivid imagery is often hard to articulate. Such is the case with Sabi’s debut full-length Glued on Thin Memories. Let’s try something else then. Ancient gongs. White sunrises. Ultraviolet sunsets. Thermometers, and fevers. Mechanical birds pecking at scattered electrons. Rhododendrons blossoming on the surface of the moon. Calm seas, calm skies. A calliope playing itself. Dusty, leather-bound books on a dusty, oaken shelf. Purple flags. Sleeping in the backyard. Rain falling on a train station at night as a train pulls up–a man walks out and a woman boards without speaking to each other. A cake with eleven candles, unlit. Streetlamps, glowing yellow and tired. Ripples across the surface of a bathtub. Secrets, pleasurably kept."
TheMilkfactory - 4.6/5
"The excellent Boltfish continues to deliver the goods with their latest release, the debut album by British-Japanese electronic artist Sabi, who has previously been spotted on Cactus Island Recordings with a first EP, Nebulous Sights, four years ago, and more recently on Phaseworks with 71:36, a split LP recorded with Kiyo. Sabi is the solo project of Taro Peter Little, a graphic designer who is currently studying music at the Tokyo University Of Arts.
Weaving together various strands of electronica into one rather lush collection, Little creates here a particularly beautiful record. Glued On Thin Memories is quite a varied album, and one that bears its many influences proudly, from Piano Phase-like Reich-ian influences on Halfspine and, to a lesser extend Mote Diver, to the Harold Budd-tinted title track or the Eno-infused Burning On A Tiny Black Lake or Melting Antennas and strong Orb-overtones of pieces such as Screaming Bulb, Signals Left or Music For Stones + Dore Cigales. This is a risky strategy, but one that pays off here. Indeed, while Little appears to leave his influences largely exposed, it is what he makes of them and how they integrate into his work that give this album its own identity. The music is evocative, with sumptuous melodic lines and built from lush soundscapes, and while he goes from particularly rich sonic feasts, propelled by sharp rhythmic sections, to much more atmospheric and, at times, minimal pieces, there is here a sense of direction and a strong focus on evolution binding this record together pretty seamlessly.
All the way through, Sabi works with beautiful organic pulsating soundscapes which give a number of tracks here a very aquatic feel. This is reinforced by the extreme fluidity with characterises much of the album progression as tracks are effortlessly blending in, independently of the mood of any individual piece. Instead of placing his compositions according to their tone or pace, Little adopts what seems at first a much more random approach, but this actually contributes to make Glued On Thin Memories a more unpredictable and organic record and denote a good level of maturity and understanding. This is not to say that there is no narrative running through. Quite the opposite in fact. Little continuously moves through areas of light and shade, placing expressive rhythmic pieces next to contemplative ambient sound forms and emotionally charged piano-led compositions to create a kaleidoscopic journey, which never really loses any of its appeal over its whole course.
With Glued On Thin Memories, Sabi has produced a pretty flawless electronic record, which relies heavily on timeless concepts and ideas to build a very effective collection of stunning electronic pieces"
(translated from original French review)
"The artist who goes by the soft name of Sabi is a Japanese and British artist living in Tokyo. He has hitherto only released tracks on compilations or furtively appeared with EP's on well known labels like Merck or Cactus Island Recordings. We may also mention the album, 71:36, produced in collaboration with Kiyo. Murray Fisher (Mint) and Wil Bolton (Cheju), of Boltfish, leave him this time with a chance to publish his first solo album.
Actually called Taro Peter Little, he's an artist to be taken seriously. Leaning as much on the side of the beats/creeping IDM rhythms as towards the intoxicating paths of electronica, Sabi alternates between short formats and plethoric works by injecting interludes between them where his talents as a highly skilled pianist are obvious. Luminous and swarming with ideas, Glued On Thin Memories produces the effect of a the sun caressing your skin. Ideal, but not only for this summer period you might say. For a first album, to plough a rich and varied artistic furrow instead of an immediately identifiable path already constitutes a risk in itself. To then insert a more experimental facet while remaining accessible heightens the performance. You won't be surprised if I say to you that this album reaches that point.
Excellent tracks, like Halfspine, Mote Diver or Mano, are to be considered like small pearls for immediate purposes, contrasting with massive and complex works as Screaming Bulb (A masterpiece of IDM where the elements tumble in crescendo before reintroducing the hypnotic starting topic, then the machine sets out again…) or Music For Stones + Dore Cigales (where ambience, electronica and field recordings intermingle in a divine alchemy). Even in the light of such successes, you can't ignore a charming abstractly romantic track like Uki 4_7, immersing oneself in a luxuriant region where Fountains of Youth sit alongside rare birds. The adjoining tracks Burning On a Tiny Lake/Melting Antennas are also quite thrilling.
If Boltfish releases are too rare, they're always immensely surprising ones. With this rich and brilliant album, Sabi signals the best release from the label since Cheju's Broken Waves (here) and Yvat's Kunzite (here). A long time coming, I hope that it won't be ten years before the follow up album.
Norman Records - 4 stars
"Right. Like the title first & foremost. Slightly poetic resonance it has. The music is pretty cool as well, as can be expected from this quiet, respectable electronica "backwater". So Sabi does modern "IDM" that ranges from a melodic abstract style to dreamy ambient textures, disorientating spangled interludes, Woozy Merck style electro-hop, submerged hauntological/ chamber classical segments & lovely chill-out pieces filtered through with a sound-art perspective! Lashings of engaging full-blooded experimental music on here - richly textured cascading noises that create a kind of zen-like tropical vibe by about half way through. On a whole this recording works more as a resume of the artists multi faceted interests in the dynamics of sound rather than a straight electronica album with loads of samey sounding tunes (which is what I was expecting somehow!)"
Translated from original Russian Review
"Japanese-British musician and designer Taro Peter Little on idm scene for almost ten years: released several EPs, has appeared on various compilations, worked with other artists, but full-length album is not reached yet. His first album «Glued On Thin Memories» was hateful quintessence of his work. The sound varies from soft idm to ambient in a spirit Secede with small splashes of piano interludes. I'm not vain mentioned Secede, because some of the tracks caused me deja vu, for example, «Three Blind Queens In Cyan» obviously there is something of «Tryshasla», the same languid bass, elements of field recordings and some fantasy happening resemble beautiful country Sanda. In «Screaming Bulb» slightly guessed «Vega Libre», as well as felt analog flavor label. However, Sabi nevertheless find their original style, bringing more typical idm music elements. For example, the first track «Halfspine» is such a classic idm start 2000th: melodic, with a crunch and fancy beat. In «Mano» everything else we have heard a wonderful female vocals, which is perfectly placed on the electronics. Still, idm in this album is not the first place, Sabi focuses on soft ambient textures, space and depth. In general, the mood of the plate is very relaxing, especially the second half, your cares and worries just evaporate.
The real summer album, and in all respects other than the first LP was a success. The only thing that I am a little confused, because it is a meager artwork. Such music is worth more, in my opinion. If you missed idm era such as Toytronic, early albums Maps And Diagrams and Secede's «Tryshasla» you are always on repeat, the Sabi easily fit into your music now."