Multi-instrumentalist Yoshida Shoko enamors on the latest release, Up and Down via Independent Tokyo label Hot Buttered Records. The two-track EP is a magnificent dream portal ignited by Shoko’s impeccable and at times, medicinal range.
The artist utilizes the space that time leaves for a full indulgence of senses that transcend language. Electronica and an esoteric ambiance are at the forefront and act as the willing hand pulling Shoko’s veneer, fitting for the EP’s name.
Tone alone, Shoko displays vulnerability and passive droplets of anger which melt among the ambient textures; “そのままで (Take My Hands)” captures these sentiments under four minutes. Shoko’s vocals easily captivate and mute outside thoughts in their space. The immersion is firm, nevertheless, still intangible and dreamy.
Synthesizers continue to layer until the track’s heartbeat is felt and heard through the tender build. Shoko croons with a thick cry and melts just the same with shimmering inflections. The power of Shoko’s voice are akin to the track’s percussion. And with this power of the artist’s built-in-instrument goes beyond atmospheric or ethereal; words that would oddly dilute their power. They seem timeless not in nature, but how they convict a listener.
And to every side, “Natsu no Asobi” enters and implements balance. The track takes the path of ambient acid folk and explores the meticulous ripples of steel percussion. There’s a choral intoxication that grounds for the duality of the EP and once again leaves a very intimate and symbolic note.