Sugai Ken is an experimental electronic music artist based in Kanagawa in the Greater Tokyo Area of Japan. This October, New York label RVNG Intl. will release Ken’s new album UkabazUmorezU, which blends field recordings with meandering synths and curious samples.
Today, he’s sharing an amoeba-ish visual that provides a guiding form to “Wochikaeri to Uzume,” a delightful, almost-3-minute first taste of his new album. There’s a Peter and the Wolf quality to the track’s evolution — but its sonic elements steer closer to digital era composers like Holly Herndon, James Ferraro et al.
“The themes of ‘Wochikaeri to Uzume (をちかえりと渦女)’ center around rejuvenation, water, and an eventual, eternal deterioration,” Sugai Ken told The FADER over email. “Over the course of the song, a voice transforms from an older to younger woman (rejuvenation), field recordings of a drain, sparkling water, and a hot iron being pressed into a damp come in and out of focus (water, of course), and the second hand of a clock ticks away into the end melody (eventual deterioration). The piece continues an ancient Japanese custom paying respect to water, some of which you can learn more about here [and here].”