Bonus track : "Ha!" - available with download
Kirameki - “A Fit Of The Jerks" (BS005 - 2008) :
Music Jim but not as you know it.
More likely to give your hi-fi a breakdown and you a nose bleed, Kirameki are clearly demented and creatively insane individuals. it's a combination much lauded here - if only there were more like them.
'A fit of the Jerks' is as apt a titled album as you're ever likely going to come across, talk about doing what it says on the tin, the mysterious Japanese / English duo known only _ and + are clearly on a different radar to the rest of us, a disturbed and freakish collaborative hybrid who craft a strange and unsettling nu age acrylic art pop sound-scape. They are the quintessential flies in the ointment.
First appearing on our viewfinder courtesy of their excellently wayward 'exercises in style' EP via the Dutch imprint Rack and Ruin (incidentally all of the tracks from which feature here including the previously unplayable 'John Lennon Vs. the Martians' - for review see missive 169) the impish Kirameki freewheel with undeterred flippancy and deconstructive delight through an abyss of the surreal and the abstract (especially 'bubble car pileup' wherein the fusion of cut up collages and classical florets readily imagine a head on collision between Cornelius and Stockhausen), the sounds within bordering between the manic, the chaotic, the childlike and the challenged. All at once perplexing, playful and pulsating, 18 tracks feature on this their debut full length (though it should be pointed out that only 17 are credited on the sleeve).
A freakish floorshow of skittish beats, wired to the teeth sampling and random frenetic eruptions are the order of the day, familiar sounds are dismembered as though a performing autopsy is being undertaken, elements of classicism (note the skewed and bent out of shape Debussy flurries within 'exercises in style' - anti pop purists will love the erstwhile brief Duran Duran nod and ensuing dismissal while those preferring their sounds - shall we say - a little best experienced from behind the safe haven of a sofa should seek out 'the Viennese opera ball' which opts for a spot of sinister glassy noir chilled key tinkles) rub shoulders with blip core to be channelled and refracted through a fractured kaleidoscope whose dialect is indelibly grasped of flux and Dadaist mindsets.
In terms of reference points Kirameki are kindred spirits of Casino Vs. Japan, Atari Teenage Riot and Pop Off Tuesday and mine similar unclassified pop dimensions as esteemed imprints such as Tigerbeat6, Emperor Norton and Wobblyhead, the fried and frayed elements coming into detached clarity on 'morgan house cutter' wherein fuzz laced flashbacks scour and scald amid chiming celestial crystal bowed overtures and glacial b-movie cascades much recalling Roy Budd in presence.
'A fit of the jerks' pushes, pulls and jolts you through the paces, erratic as well as at times eerie, Kirameki have this engaging knack of continually pulling the rug from beneath your feet, its not so strange to find that one minute your being serenaded by disarming braids of lulling key motifs as on 'bubble car pileup' the next literally being pinned to the wall of your listening space by the disjointed schisms bleaching the grooves of 'sayonara, gangsters' - a warped and rapid fire aural assault of demonic squeaky toys, rampant beats and dragster fuzz scorched twang - you have been warned. Or maybe you fancy some demented uprising of typewriters decorated with an insane industrial tinged hollowing regal-ness as on 'my cloud' where nods are made in the general direction of Add N to X's 'Add insult to Injury' or the Radiophonic styled monochromatics of the snow globed and odd 'kirameki' all impishly fleshed out with bizarre key changes, ad hoc time signatures, clockwork motifs and a threatened sense of unruliness.
Elsewhere you'll find some neat Dadaist lounge groove via 'cooper's shoes', mutant industrial funk (the unaccredited 17th track) and Zorn like crookedness on 'derecci edited himself'. Sadly 'wave of imitation' - an obvious nod to the Pixies track 'wave of mutilation' is alas not a carnage frenzied dismemberment of the same track but a frankly barking frequency modulating slice of whirring drones and haunting Oriental apparitions - very unsettling with the subtle lolloping folk mirages barely detected in the background very much cut with a Sunburned Hand of the Man type zeal.
We suggest you blitz the in boxes of those Riley and Maconie radio types and demand that Kirameki be elevated to the ranks of house band - do you want their email to save farting about in web world - its firstname.lastname@example.org
- ah well there's goes the hopes of a career in Broadcasting up the shoot.
[The Sunday Experience]
Kirameki - “A Fit Of The Jerks" (BS005 - 2008) :
Kirameki is a very strange beast indeed I first came across them (them being the oddly named _ & *) yes you read that right it’s a double team collaboration effort made by a guy called _ and a guy called * more on them in good time. Anyway I came across them on the excellent free net label Rack & Ruin Records, I was really taken by the madness that was lurking within. So I was so pleased for them when Bearsuit picked them up for a full album release. A Fit Of The Jerks is that album.
It’s really hard to explain what the hell is going on with Kirameki they shift and move through many styles often within seconds. I guess it’s a cut’n’paste sort of affair a bit like what Cut Chemist and DJ Shadow would cook up if they both went a bit insane one night. You have no idea what so ever what’s coming next it could be a full on spazzed out blast of breakcore beats or a mellow meandering through field recordings and strings. It’s all so playful it just pulls you into its strange little world.
_ is an artist from Japan and that’s about all we know of him really, his partner in crime doesn’t even know his name so to join in the anonymous fun * was born I can only really tell you that he’s from Scotland and is probably just as insane as _. They collaborate entirely over the Internet by sending tracks and files back and forth until some noise comes out. I’m not sure they have ever met at all face to face, it’s an interesting way of working and the results kind of reflect that.
Where to start with highlights? Well it all flows so well even with all the mad twists and terns so the tracks feel less like songs and more like segments, surges and soundtracks to pretty much everything all at once.
Exercises in Style is a deranged almost circus like opening track, you can imagine a ringmaster drunkenly stumbling into the ring to announce the album over the top of this. He doesn’t though that’s all pretty much just in my head. The next track lures you into a blissful jazzy kind of place before things go haywire again with the funky guitar led breakbeat fuzz monster Sayonara, Gangsters. These two really know how to collect sounds and thread them together in such a compelling and interesting way that goes from party bangers to ambient noise.
I always seem to get Drown Yourself in my head for some reason I think it’s the mad breathy pitch-shifting laugh that does it. There is something mad about it that just draws me in. The following number My Cloud is a sublime shoe-gazer full of fuzz and chords that melt into an Aphex Twin style freak out at the end and reminds me of Frontier Psychiatrist by The Avalanches with it’s horse samples.
The noise rock beast Morgan House-Cutter gets me going with its grating, jarring sounds and beautiful twilight chords. Just to confuse things further they throw in a track called Our Last Track part 5 right in the middle, it sounds like a long lost KLF pop trance number being played in the distance followed by a marching band running down a busy road next to a train track, but in a good way of course.
Kirameki really do know how to twist turn and generally scare the shit out of the listener by luring them in with some beautiful soundscapes then bashing them around the head with a techno / gabba beat and running off with a big cheeky grin on their faces. It’s so hard to place this in a single box, it’s like ambient hit’n’run schizophrenic techno beat music or something...
A Fit of the Jerks will not be to everyone’s taste that’s for sure but the ones that find it and cherish it will be rewarded with some wonderful, fun and compelling listens. There is so much inventive sound packed into this album that it really stands up to repeated listens when your in some sort of deranged mood for it.
[The Sonic Mine Field]
Kirameki - “A Fit Of The Jerks" (BS005 - 2008) :
A Fit of the Jerks by Kirameki, released on Bearsuit Records, is a collaboration between Japanese musician, _, and Scottish musician *. They work together by sharing sound files over the Internet. The influences range from ambient to downtempo hip hop, and there's definitely a strong sense of Japanese cultural references. Spoken audio samples are juxtaposed with cultural archetypes like video game samples to create audio jokes. There are also more serious tracks with less obvious references.
A Fit of the Jerks begins with Exercises in Style, which is a strong indicator of the rest of the album. Sampled guitars, drums, percussion, vocals and piano are lashed together to create a 2 minute journey through Kirameki's world. The crescendo that climaxes in a Mario sample is particularly indicative of Kirameki's playfulness and wit. Sayonara, Gangsters is similar, announcing that "the 1960's were happy times", followed by 1960s style guitars and loops.
Waves of Imitation shows Kirameki's calmer side: slow drums and drawn-out instrumentation are used to build a layered ambient texture. Flash Bang Winney follows on from this, with a struggling and occasional atonal piano melody and unusual vocal samples. There are slight nods towards noise in this track, with distorted guitars forming a stronger part of the track. The next track, Drown Yourself and track 10, Morgan House-Cutter also demonstrate noise influences. Drown Yourself surprised me with its drum and bass used to reach a zenith at the end.
At this point in A Fit of the Jerks, the title starts to make a lot of sense. My Cloud sounds darker and literally fitful. The same sample manipulation techniques are used as elsewhere on the album, but it's more aggressive here. The track keeps being dragged towards a calmer, melodic place, and it makes one wonder which of the musicians was responsible for each direction.
For 30 seconds, Track 8, Kirameki, sounds more electronic, melodic and ambient; until the sped up drum samples crash in. It's an excellent example of how unpredictable these musicians are. Track 11, Our Last Track Part 5, includes the obligatory Speak and Spell style vocal samples, but has some intriguing acoustic guitars and other sounds that seem to have been manipulated to sound like water, which makes sense against bird samples.
Cooper's Shoes comes back to where the album started: amusing vocal samples, guitars and melodies mixed against noisy drums. A Fit of the Jerks finishes with Kirameki's parody of stadium-rock, Derecci Edited Himself. After around a minute of noisy rock, the track implodes into jazz, and gradually evolves into ambient noise.
A Fit of the Jerks is 18 tracks, so it feels like a long album. It's actually only 52 minutes, and Kirameki are nothing if not consistent with their approach. It's almost like the two collaborating musicians have created their own language of audio manipulation. They thrive on being unpredictable, and finding the humour in the samples they've sourced. Some tracks show evidence that they also find the emotional value of these samples too, which would be an interesting direction for them to take in the future.
Kirameki's 'Take it Or Leave It' is pure 80s style industrial, somewhere between early Foetus and Test Department, a cement-mixer filled with samples, tape loops and found sounds mashed and melted together to brain-bending effect.
[“Flash Bang Whinney"] The sound of Mrs. Mills being remixed by Slade while under assault from a cat with a power tool.