Ikebana, in Japanese, is an art of flower arrangement. Unlike conventional flower arrangement, it often focuses on other areas of the plant, such as its stems and leaves, rather than its blooms, and lays emphasis toward the shape, line, form of the arrangement.
Ikebana is about minimalism, about beauty in space, and about calmness.
And so does the music of flau label’s latest signing, the Japanese female duo Ikebana.
Ikebana is made up of 2 wonderfully talented female artists, maki and en. Their unique music is infused with a strong sense of Shoegaze and Ambient, but in a very much stripped-down form. Phases of minimal guitar noise floating through the space of sounds, like a wavering light in darkness, with deeply reverbed female voices drifting in to create a calm universe between a dream and the reality. Unlike the current style of psychedelic/drone music for overseas, Ikebana’s music is about minimalism, about beauty in space, and about calmness, just like the art of flower arrangement of Ikebana itself.
The compilation features 12 tracks from some of the globe’s most talented sound-designers. It is a subtly rewarding headphone listen from start to finish; curated and ordered to purposefully induce a state of sleep. Starting off minimally, gradually gathering tone and atmosphere, the experience goes on without ever boiling over or reaching a crescendo. Parts of the album are light and restful whereas traces of it tread darker territory. All in all, the imagery that the album conjurs sits perfectly as a soundtrack to the dreams one experiences during a nights sleep.
As a sort of pantheist, or at least an artist who finds great stories hiding in the vast visual subtleties of nature – Subtle Trees is a classical music collage as much as it is an homage to classical music. It’s core is created through sounds gathered in the owl hours by sampling ancient instruments whose cores were derived from the trees of nature. These sounds were layered like lichen on an ancient pantheistic sculpture.
Inside the book: 36-pages from Internet monsters Everything Is Terrible!; interviews with musician Robert Scott (the Clean, the Bats) and writer Amelia Gray; music profiles of S. Fla’s finest, The Jacuzzi Boys, and UK ’90s cult band Disco Inferno; fiction by Stacey Levine; photographs by Ted Barron and Gracie Remington; art by Saul Chernick, Pavel Tchelitchew, Cassie Ramone, Ilyas Ahmed.