CD: Akiko Kiyama, 7 Years

(District of Corruption)

"True beauty has sadness," states Akiko Kiyama's MySpace page. Indeed, the Tokyo musician's take on minimal techno is a disciplined study in contrasts that announces her as a major talent. Kiyama began composing as a means of counteracting depression, and an air of melancholy pervades her music - especially when spectral washes of Shinto flute start casting their shadow over the twitching beats of Scattered. 7 Years is far from a downer, though: Kiyama has a knack for turning her abstract gloom into magnificently slinky, trippy music. Synths twitch anxiously over a booming kick-drum on Ant; the bounce of Let Me Burn Your Book is paranoid but playful. And the tension as Kiyama lets Bite a Plum build before releasing its impossibly addictive melody is incredible.


Alex Macpherson

The GuardianTramp

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