Daisuke Tanabe Pinebee

“Man speaks, then, but it is because the symbol has made him man.” –Jacques Lacan

No other element of modern music connects the symbolic to our collective mind quite like the breakbeat. Like words, sampled sounds contain multitudes – histories, memories, ideas, conflict – in a single instance. We speak through the temporary stability of the symbol, and through an act of cooptation we lease their meanings in an effort to communicate with one another. Breakbeats, then, tiny musical microcosms, are like the calligraphic inscriptions of a master storyteller penning an epic by hand: movement, momentum, imagination and magic.

Floating Underwater, Daisuke Tanabe’s latest full-length out this month on German imprint Ki Records, is an intimate recording that evokes early mornings navigating through our comforting clutter of pajamas and philodendrons, newspapers and neighbors, condensation and coffee grinds. Tempering electronics with acoustics to create new space built from overlapping atmospheres, each track is suffused with chemistry, a co-mingling of ions in a conversation between perfect strangers.

Pinebee,” though, is a surprisingly extroverted interlude among the record’s cozier moments and extends the lineage of Lyn Collins‘s “Think (About It)” breakbeat. Embracing the playful timbre of the pitched drum break, Tanabe parses and threads the beat around intricate stirrings of close-miked string buzz and shifting texture, braiding the rhythm tighter each measure only to loosen the tension in one liberating tantrum of balls-out breakcore.

With “Origami,” Tanabe withdraws back inward, parceling out a minimal melody, Monkish in its intermittency, across layers of radiophonic rustle bobbing in their own discrete clusters of (non)chronologies.

A rich consonance of emotion is suddenly revealed when these modest figures are backlit by the song’s bright, confident chord progression and Tanabe is able to draw our eye from the detail to see the misty brushstrokes that become the sky above the serene waters of a floating world, the dull gray pebbles artfully raked to produce zen under maples and moss, the sheet of colored paper creased into a creamsicle crane.

Stream “Pinebee” and “Origami” here, as well as another track “Paper Planes” below.  Daisuke Tanabe’s Floating Underwater comes out September 15 (on digital, CD and 2x 10″ vinyl).  Pre-order it on Forced Exposure.

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