Nao Katafuchi & Pauk Woznicki :: Double review (W.T. Records)

W.T.’s back catalogue contains myriad styles; this latest pair of EP’s see that same eccentricity explored. Nao Katafuchi are already turning heads, Yumogeto being a 2012 favourite of Xeno & Oaklander’s Liz Wendeblo, with their sleek brand of synth wave. Woznicki comes from a more obscure place, a trailblazing sound of rebounded reverbs and polyphonic perplexities. Undoubtedly even more interesting music will come from the New York imprint in this New Year.

Nao Katafuchi & Pauk Woznicki :: Double review

Nao Katafuchi & Pauk Woznicki :: Double review

Willie Burns has been pushing the boundaries of electronics with his own music and with his excellent W.T. Records. Working with an array of artists, the New York label has explored the sounds of electro, house, minimal synth and techno. In the W.T. tradition, two new names are introduced to the analogue audience with twelve inches of vinyl.

Nao Katafuchi are a synth wave group with a pop edge and 80s disposition. “Wasure Banasi” gets the show on the road. Beats snap and melodies coalesce before warbling vocals arrive. The track has a decent pace and a decent twist, the lyrics being in Japanese. “Stormy Weather” follows and comes from a similar position to its predecessor. The vocals are hollowed and penetrating as synthlines crumple to produce a rumbling melt of machine melancholy. “Hidden In Your Eyes” is proper analogue pop. Strings and machinery come together with vocals for a catchy piece of wave. The influence of bands like the Cure, Joy Division and New Order is obvious, with Nao Katafuchi turning dissatisfaction with emotional detachment. To close “Tsurezure” meshes Italo Wave sounds with darkened vocals for an electric curtain fall.

Paul Woznicki, arrives for his semi self-titled album, WOZ. Woznicki is a film and TV scorer, working on movies such as Fiend in 1980. One year later, 1981, Woznicki released his WOZ LP, a record now some thirty years old and ready to resurface. “Straight Ahead” comes from the world of electronic soundtracks, melodies countering one another in an atmospheric piece. The album has a whimsical quality, harmonies delicately being strung out against a fantastical and sci-fi drenched backdrop. “Tongue Depressor” contains echoes of minimal synth, the movie scorer coiling a spool of sound. “2nd Attempt” has a similar feel to some of Legowelt’s more soundtrack based material. There is a sinister and unsettling aspect to Woznicki’s sound, an insular and claustrophobic element reflected in the haunting melodies and spiraling synths. “Wozzie’s Waltz” is a work of dramatic distortion, chords compressed into a whirling piece before “Zerkon” lifts the listener to loftier levels. “Flashbacks” sees the curtain fall, oscillators cascading over a taciturn tom-tom.

W.T.’s back catalogue contains myriad styles; this latest pair of EP’s see that same eccentricity explored. Nao Katafuchi are already turning heads, Yumogeto being a 2012 favourite of Xeno & Oaklander’s Liz Wendeblo, with their sleek brand of synth wave. Woznicki comes from a more obscure place, a trailblazing sound of rebounded reverbs and polyphonic perplexities. Undoubtedly even more interesting music will come from the New York imprint in this New Year.

Both Yumogeto and WOZ are available on W.T..

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