Anoice

The Black Rain


IMPREC351   CD


Anoice's first album for Important had a modest (but critically affectionate) impact upon its release. However, sales of the record have been steady & strong since it originally came out in 2006. Now, six years later we're pleased to finally offer The Black Rain, Anoice's reaction to both the darkness & hope that engulfed Japan after the 2011 earthquake, Tsunami & nuclear meltdown. Black Rain was written throughout 2011 and recorded in Tokyo and London. The Black Rain is both a reflection on disaster and a prayer for healing.

The structure of The Black Rain flows as an album full of preludes working up to the gigantic full band composition titled Finale. As this finale comes to a close the attentive listener is rewarded with a soft landing called Fall Asleep which brings brings the album to a close. Most of the arrangements
for The Black Rain are comprised of strings, piano and organ. Pianos were recorded at various locations including a hotel ruined by the earthquake.
Pieces from The Black Rain are inlcuded on a charity compillation titled More Hope For Japan and a Louis Vuitton Iphone application.

The Black Rain was originally inteded to be released in Spring of 2011 but the release was witheld due to the the title of the album and the provocative sadness, rage and hatred against apathy expressed in the compositions. The distribution of music throughout many districts of Japan was halted giving Anoice more time work on the record. Although the group did not originally set out to make a record which dealt with the theme of nuclear disaster everything changed after the tragic events of the March 11th.

TRACK LISTING

self-portrait
colder than thermite
ripple
tipsy dance
cat in the rain
white paper
drops
the end of something
finale
fall asleep

REVIEWS

If you're looking for a pleasant diversion, look elsewhere—this album was written by the Japanese quintet Anoice in the wake of the catastrophic earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear accident that devastated parts of coastal Japan in March of 2011. Presented as "both a reflection on disaster and a prayer for healing," Black Rain is quiet but intense, and while it is remarkably beautiful it's also poignant to the point of heartbreak. This group plays mostly acoustic instruments (piano, cello, viola, percussion, guitar) but also incorporates synthesizers and what sound like occasional samples into its compositions. At times those compositions are deceptively simple-sounding, and sometimes (as on the quiet and lovely "Ripple") they are genuinely simple. But they effectively convey a sense of both loss and hope, of contemplation and occasionally anger. The first eight tracks on the program build up to the appropriately-titled ninth track, "Finale," which is sonically big without quite lapsing into bombast, and emotionally powerful without lapsing into bathos. The album then ends with "Fall Asleep," a piece of nearly subliminal quietness and gentle beauty. Crisis often produces art, but not very often does it result in art this engaging.

All Music Guide 2012


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