Tenniscoats – ‘Temporacha’
June 29, 2009 § Leave a comment
Published: The Big Issue #327, April 2009.
Known for their gently skewed, beautifully vocalised outings into psychedelic pop, this intriguing little collection sees Tokyo duo Tenniscoats (Saya and Takashi Ueno) strip their sound back to a fragile, ephemeral essence.
Recorded on location around Tokyo with Brisbane sound artists Lawrence English, the album’s seven skeletal vignettes abandon conventional melody and structure for ambience, field recordings and artefacts of their various recording environments. Mere gestures of guitar and voice punctuate, rather than impose themselves on these sketches. We hear the flitting current of the Komagawa River, birds and wind through trees at Wako-Jurin Park, the thundering echo of tunnel traffic.
It’s quite magical in parts – like you’re following a personalised, hand-written map of Tokyo. The unwound, music-box melody of ‘End of the Day – Slight Hunger’ and the wondrous pastoral guitar and river recordings of ‘Sitting By’ offer two of the record’s most effective and affecting moments.
The problem is that it’s all to brief. The record’s run-time is at EP length and a concept like this would only profit from an expanded treatment. By the time you’ve entered Temporacha’s enchanting world, it’s all but passed you by.