Music

Yoshi Wada: Lament for the Rise and Fall of the Elephantine Crocodile

Nate Cunningham

Singular, vintage sounds from one Japanese visionary with the help of some plumbing pipes, a swimming pool, and an air compressor.


Yoshi Wada

Lament for the Rise and Fall of the Elephantine Crocodile

Label: EM
US Release Date: 2008-01-22
UK Release Date: Unavailable
Amazon
iTunes

This reissue of a little heard but oft-discussed 1981 record by Fluxus artist Yoshi Wada contains two half-hour-long tracks that couldn’t have less to do with each other. To match the record’s long, meandering title that expresses nothing, we get one meandering piece of overtone singing that expresses nothing, no matter how many times it’s repeated that Yoshi Wada studied under the legendary Pandit Pran Nath. But to match the highly intriguing cover image of Wada in a dried-out pool, playing around with what looks like plumbing pipes hooked up to equipment from a thirty year-old outer space movie, we also get a brilliant, unprecedented drone on his home-made “pipe horn”. The instrument produces tones that psychedelic rockers might wish the bagpipe sounded like -- magnificently lo-fi and chunky but not in the least grating -- and it actually is made out of plumbing pipes, although the contraption they’re hooked into isn’t a sci-fi prop, but an air compressor. The resulting track is like the drone equivalent of an ancient proverb: if you put it on in one mood you’ll come away thinking it’s unrelentingly fierce, while in another mood it’s gentle enough to put a kid to sleep. The only thing that’s certain is fans of minimalism and adventurous ambient should get on this; you haven’t heard anything like it before.

7
Music


Books


Film


Recent
Film

Masaki Kobayashi's 'Kwaidan' Horror Films Are Horrifically Beautiful

The four haunting tales of Masaki Kobayashi's Kwaidan are human and relatable, as well as impressive at a formal and a technical level.

Film

The Top 10 Thought-Provoking Science Fiction Films

Serious science fiction often takes a backseat to the more pulpy, crowdpleasing genre entries. Here are 10 titles far better than any "dogfight in space" adventure.

Books

'The Kill Chain': Why America Might Lose Its Next Big War

Christian Brose's defense-nerd position paper, The Kill Chain, inadvertently reveals that the Pentagon's problems (complacency, inertia, arrogance) reflect those of the country at large.

Music

2006's 'Flat-Pack Philosophy' Saw Buzzcocks Determined to Build Something of Quality

With a four-decade career under their belt, on the sixth disc in the new box-set Sell You Everything, it's heartening to see Buzzcocks refusing to settle for an album that didn't try something new.

Books

'Lie With Me': Beauty, Love and Toxic Masculinity in the Gay '80s

How do we write about repression and toxic masculinity without valorizing it? Philippe Besson's Lie With Me is equal parts poignant tribute and glaring warning.

Music

Apparat's 'Soundtrack: Capri-Revolution' Stands Alone As a Great Ambient Experience

Apparat's (aka Sascha Ring) re-imagined score from Mario Martone's 2018 Capri-Revolution works as a fine accompaniment to a meditational flight of fancy.

Music

Chouk Bwa and the Ångströmers Merge Haitian Folk and Electronic Music on 'Vodou Alé'

Haitian roots music meets innovative electronics on Chouk Bwa and the Ångströmers' Vodou Alé.

My Favorite Thing

Weird and Sweet, Riotous and Hushed: The Beatles' 'The White Album'

The Beatles' 'The White Album' is a piece of art that demonstrates how much you can stretch, how far you can bend, how big you really are. The album is deeply weird. It has mass. It has its own weather.

Music

Sarah Jarosz Finds Inspiration in Her Texas Roots on 'World on the Ground'

By turning to her roots in central Texas for inspiration on World on the Ground, Sarah Jarosz has crafted some of her strongest songs yet.

Music

Hinds' 'The Prettiest Curse' Is One of Victory

On The Prettiest Curse, Hinds create messy pop music that captures the vibrancy of youth without being childish.

Music

12 Essential Performances from New Orleans' Piano "Professors"

New Orleans music is renowned for its piano players. Here's a dozen jams from great Crescent City keyboardists, past and present, and a little something extra.

Music

Jess Williamson Reimagines the Occult As Source Power on 'Sorceress'

Folk singer-songwriter, Jess Williamson wants listeners to know magic is not found in tarot cards or mass-produced smudge sticks. Rather, transformative power is deeply personal, thereby locating Sorceress as an indelible conveyor of strength and wisdom.

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.