Clear vinyl pressing
Hiromi Moritani's legendary Phew project returns to Mute for the first time in nearly 30 years for what might arguably considered her most accessible and prescient work in some time. It's not as if Moritani had been quiet prior to this - quite the opposite in fact, her recent prolific output for Disciples a visceral and often vital embracing of noise aesthetics - though New Decade does feel like a return to some of the processes and approaches more associated with her earlier work. Most notably, the voice is front and centre, the golden rivet holding the ship together, sometimes cut in penetrating fragments, other times impressionistic intonations or spoken word proclamations. Built around these distinctive vocals is a crystalline palace of static, drone, metallic scrapes and electronic diversions. It sounds arrestingly modern, though still alien given the forms and structures it unpredictably seems to embrace then disregard. There's a live, improv quality to tracks like Days Nights and Feedback Tuning, Moritani in service to nothing but instinct. Though sometimes abrasive, it's the contrast of light and shade that makes New Decade so appealing. Closer, Doing Nothing, is about as linear as Moritani is here, a Suicide-like drum machine the backdrop for a near-primal howl, but it also feels redemptive and hopeful somehow, too. A perfect way to move into a New Decade, no doubt.