Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

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(Room40; US: 9 Mar 2009; UK: Available as import)

For Temporacha the Japanese duo Tenniscoats produces a girlishly ponderous sound of something unplanned on purpose, as if they spend half their time wondering deliberately about the next note they’re going to play and the other half feeling surprised because they’ve found it. The notes they find are more unsparing here than they were in the last Tenniscoats album I caught up with, 2007’s Totemo Aimasho. Temporacha moves along in chains of quick taps, sometimes the sound of a key struck on a wooden piano, or a noise that might be a cassette tape popping out of a deck. In “Timeless” the part of the piano is played by a percussion instrument that could be wooden gagaku clappers, the shakubyoshi. If you wanted to turn the musicians’ Japanese nationality into a thing, you could point to the fact that much classical Japanese art celebrates transience, the white space of pauses, and the serendipity of chance. Otherwise just let Temporacha prod your mind sideways out of focus.


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