Imugem Orihasam – Assemble Unreality w/ remixes [Diffuse Reality]
Diffuse Reality present a fully loaded album from emerging Japanese artist Imugem Orihasam. Alongside Orihasam is a delectable lineup of remixers including Anaud Le Texier, Martyn Hare, Manni Dee, and Dimitri Pike. Entitled ‘Assemble Unreality’, the album showcases Orihasam’s ability working with noise, experimental, and techno, a potent mix of powerful and at times abrasive pieces.
The album opens with Repremise: chasmic rumblings fill the empty space with an otherworldly quality, as analogue tones distort under the soft wind. Bell chimes phase in and out of the fabric, as flecks of ethereal light dance mysteriously across the soundscape. A truly captivating opening.
Orihasam doesn’t wait around. Track 02, Engraving, enters with a pretty substantial kick, its solo syncopation setting the tone before the rest of the ensemble of metallic clangs and fizzing hats crash onto the stage. The track sits nicely at this restrained tempo throughout, capitalising on the simple yet powerful interplay of the kick and hats.
Move, as the title might suggest, notches things up a little, compounding on the unabating drive of the previous track. Orihasam continues working with noise/industrial influences, with the synth and percussion elements heavily crushed and distorted to produce this aggressive energy.
Megining adopts a similar framework to other tracks, with its broken kick rhythms and distorted textures. After a short intro, the track begins to mobilise, slotting more comfortably into a four-to-the-floor structure. Orihasam indulges in more experimental timbres, and the entry of the off-centre hats add an almost suffocating pace to what is already a fairly tense six minutes.
Implication in Free sees the album enter into more conventional forms, with the arrival of the 4×4 kick. Though, Orihasam’s aversion to any real peak time chaos pays off, as the energy is kept simmering and the listener’s interest is maintained. The texture is sparse, drawing greater attention to the delayed clangs that hit on every sixteen, and the stripped back drum pattern – no doubt a highly effective warm-up track.
One of the strongest tracks on the whole release, Confront Conformity is a welcome turn, opening with airy chords and familiar analogue murmurings that were witnessed at the beginning of the album. Orihasam’s take on broken beat techno is highly effective and shows a real understanding of arrangement and rhythm structure. The space never gets too busy, and while a prolonged lack of complex textures can get disinteresting, Orihasam’s investment in the programming and fine-tuned elements make this music a real joy to listen to.
Track number 7, Back and Forth, acts as a slight intermission, interrupting the gliding ambience of Confront Conformity with a disruptive signal that warps and wobbles inanely for a full minute before a jilted drum rhythm enters. The signal takes the foreground with an almost irritating presence, and continues throughout. The track acts well as a separation between Orihasam’s original material and the remixes, the first of which is done by Arnaud Le Texier.
Texier handles the original with great skill, turning it into a deep, ten-minute build-up, and is one of the highlights of Assemble Unreality. While the original is a little darker and more static in its energy, Texier livens up the kick drum and adds celestial pads to switch up the energy. The added synth loop makes the track more linear, twisting and turning under the filter as the track unfolds majestically into oblivion. Spell-binding and very much reminiscent of artists like Lucy, Texier’s cosmic rework will be sure to bring any crowd back to centre. Stunning work.
Martyn Hare also provides a remix of Implication in Free here, though offers something very different. Like Texier, Hare utilises the original’s general vibe to make something more assertive. This remix is characterised by cyclical build-ups that are underpinned by insistent snare hits and effects such as at the beginning of the break-down are nice additional touches. In the right setting this one will work great as a build-up tool.
Mann Dee’s remix of Back and Forth turns the original into a monstrous basement roller – to the tone of early Karenn and Blawan. The shuffling off-beat hat dances on top of the rolling kicks, while a gnarly synth line descends menacingly. Again, Dimitri Pike provides a contrasting remix, drawing on a more traditional style. What’s really interesting is to see how each artist has handled the loud signal tone of the original, which in this case, has been transferred to the low end, while the addition of classic jacking drum loop adds some old school energy into the mix.
Overall, ‘Assemble Reality’ is an incredibly well put together album that dares to drift away from the current homogeneity that characterises a lot of European techno. While the remixes provide something a little more club-ready, Orihasam’s explorations of down-beat broken styles are a hugely engaging venture, yet prove a functionality and artistic flair that shouldn’t be overlooked.
[ Links – Diffuse Reality – Imugem Orihasam – CD ]