Eraldo Bernocchi & Shinkiro :: In Praise of Shadows (SSSM)

Though subtle indeed, In Praise of Shadows summons a certain dis-ease, a sense of the shy and the paranoid, as if the listening mind were an incarnation of the artwork gracing the album.

Eraldo Bernocchi & Shinkiro :: In Praise of Shadows (SSSM)

Much of the music made by Eraldo Bernocchi resides on the broken edges of faith, hope and compassion. More sanguine than exsanguinating, Shinkiro (Manabu Hiramoto), whose work has steadily drifted toward exploring themes embedded in Shinto and Buddhist beliefs, lends a softer slant to a collaborative album of suggestive, dub-inflected atmospheric electronica.

In Praise of Shadows was originally the title of a slim volume written by Junichiro Tanizaki in 1933, an appreciation of layers, patina and subtlety as particular to Japanese aesthetics. On the other hand, as American poet Howard Nemerov reminds us, “Nothing in the universe can travel at the speed of light, they say, forgetful of the shadow’s speed.” So do not underestimate the cunning and keenness of shadows.

The duo present an artfully arranged collection of dark hop tales, mysteries and fantasies with titles worthy of Edgar Allan Poe: “Shadow Ghosts,” “A Scene of Kaleidoscopic Changes,” “Old Man Looking at a Window.” In this fluid grey area, Bernocchi and Shinkiro whip up a vertiginous maelstrom on “Bloody Footstep on a Ceiling Temple,” a dream you enter involuntarily only to end up reveling in the visions and sensations, as percussion tears through the billowing, twinkling curtain of “Hikari.”

Though subtle indeed, In Praise of Shadows summons a certain dis-ease, a sense of the shy and the paranoid, as if the listening mind were an incarnation of the artwork gracing the album. A lone soul, a lurker, perhaps agoraphobic; once highly functioning, now cloistered with its own ghosts, searching for fragments of a narrative that might fit fading memories, but only daring to peek at the outside world from a safe distance in the embrace of the shadows of its safe abode.

In Praise of Shadows is available on SSSM.

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