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Tominaga’s suprise flourishes make repeat listens of ‘Echoes of Megaliths’ a must

by

Special To The Japan Times

Tominaga “Echoes of Megaliths” (Squiggle Dot)

Electronic music-maker Natsumi Tominaga excels at details. “I feel the color from the music, also smell and taste it,” she wrote on her artist page on Facebook, and this attention to every aspect of sound helps turn her latest album “Echoes of Megaliths” into a consistently enveloping work. Released as Tominaga via fledgling Florida netlabel Squiggle Dot, her sonic layering and knack for subtle shifts make “Echoes” stand out from the sea of albums posted online from Japan’s numerous bedroom artists.

Tominaga leans on familiar structures, whether that be the drum ‘n’ bass of opening track “Forgiveness” or the skittery juke pacing of “Talk to You.” But she also adds small, disruptive touches to these blueprints, whether that be a sudden inhale on the former or acoustic guitar plucking on the latter. Throughout “Echoes,” Tominaga throws in surprises such as the blast of a new instrument or a sample of dialogue that leave the listener thinking, “Huh? What just happened?”

She makes the most of this approach on the album’s dual centerpieces: “Twins in Blue Desert” and “Chatter of the Strings.” Both clock in at almost 10 minutes long, but Tominaga’s subtle changes over the course of these tracks — from monosyllabic vocal injections to fiddling around with the beat — can keep you captivated on repeat plays.

“Echoes of Megaliths” is available via the Squiggle Dot Bandcamp page at squiggledot.bandcamp.com/album/sd13-tominaga-echoes-of-megaliths.