Luna Arakawa was once a noise artist that went by the alias P0stm0rtem, however recently she has dropped the moniker in favor for her real name and has been creating fascinating, imaginative and a far more calmed music in a successful attempt at forging a warmer, personal sound.
Soaring waves of synth-laden dark ambience, poignant yet wonderfully unpredictable solo piano pieces and glitchy minimalist electronica make up the bulk of Arakawa’s inspiring work. Here is a breakdown of all of the releases available at the time of writing on Arakawa’s Bandcamp page:
Ocean of Tears Called Sky
Ocean of Tears Called Sky is a delicate, reverb-heavy piece that sways and twinkles like a star peering out through a thick layer of night-time haze. It glides along quite peacefully until about two and a half minutes in, as the tone unexpectedly shifts and wobbles like a record scratch. The track resumes its earlier course until it wobbles again and spins out of control before the glassy tones build and speed until they sound like a wall of distorted violins that quickly fades back into silence. The entire track glows like a city on a nighttime horizon and feels as intimate as a hushed secret
Elements of jazz, neo-classical and avant-garde composers like John Cage and David Tudor thrive throughout Blood Ballad in a wholly vibrant and exciting way. The flurrying notes feel like a musical version of commuters running randomly past a window and city traffic barging its way through congested boulevards. At the same time, frustration, elation and an intense focus can be felt throughout these intricate instrumentals. From moments of gentle delight to sudden bursts of an almost violent energy, the songs here feel like the voice of a soul finally being able to express itself after many years of silence. As a whole, Blood Ballad is thrillingly beautiful and movingly emotional (however without becoming melodramatic). No matter where the listener is from, if they can hear or sense music in any way, this release will surely make them feel something deep inside themselves.
A very textural piece, CATape 01 opens with a subdued fuzziness and drippy reverb that brings to mind long traveling echoes from deep within a mammoth cave system. It feels very crystalline and yet restrained in the finest of ways. The glimmering notes on this track are like resonating dots of light deep within a pool of blue darkness that gets brighter and brighter until it super novas and engulfs the listener; suddenly mutating into a wholly new beast about 7 and a half minutes in.
The second track here, simply titled “A: 02,” is a wonderfully distorted electrical ecosystem of buzzes, beeps and other manipulated synthesized sounds that absolutely pulses with life. The track is so intricately detailed with sound that the listener discovers and appreciates something new with every listen. Even more textured that the preceding track, “A: 02” brings to mind jagged, fuzzy insects all competing against each other’s droning calls. Never before has there been an electronic piece that appeared this…biological.
Warm, heavily buzzed waves of electrical pulsations draped over a sweepingly evocative melody that sounds like an electro-cover of the Belladonna of Sadness soundtrack. A fleeting ghost of Serge Gainsbourg’s provocative composition style is also detectable in this dazzling yet vaguely haunting recording. The generous use of fuzz and reverb grounds this track into a wholly abstract territory, defying any and all expectations whilst still generating a clear feeling of melancholia. Like a silent film star like Valentino or Chaplin, RATape grips your heart tightly without having to say a single word.
If you like your music to be unpredictable, moving and always trying to progress, then Luna Arakawa is the artist to dedicate your attention to.