I wasn?t planning on reviewing this Japanese fembot?s debut LP, but upon finding the non-existence of a review in the Foxy archives, I made due course. Wandering from the bluesy psychedelics of her former group, Overhang Party, Sachiko has ventured into epic yawp territory, crafting a diverse, frustrating, and highly impressive set of tunes for the theatre of your mind.
Parts of Sachiko?s debut, for me, were aural revelation. ?You Never Atone For? served up one part corporal experience and one part headphone ear-kiss. Like the best drone/noise/blah sets, this record delivers the nearly overwhelming cochlear input that carries your cerebrum to an interzone ? and, mind you, this is enjoyable ? where you just glaze over and listen. Your nerves remain slightly prickled. Sachiko achieves this absorbing physical sensation on tape, which is quite a mini-miracle for those of us who don?t have a PA system at the ready. And though ?You Never Atone For? can deliver the quakes, the ?Rajin? suite and end piece, ?Yama-Keburi,? counterbalance the record with draping tones and soft choral swaths (this spectrum of sound reminds me of few releases from ?06, save for Richard Youngs?s capacious output).
After the beautiful sustained yawp of ?Rajin Song II,? ?Fire Yith? dips the record into a thick cake of buzzing vocals, whip-lashing feedback, and heavy, driving, oscillating synths. The piece is immediately jarring, but the intricate smacking of scatterbrained microtones serves more to absorb than to overwhelm The mammoth backwash of the first few minutes ? you?ll definitely feel this one ? is pierced by the processed yelps and whales of Sachiko, as she tries to break through her own wall of sound. Sachiko?s vocal presence is all over ?You Never Atone For,? and for good measure: her sonic wizardry is quite impressive, but it?s also a bit daunting, so these recognizably human elements relieved me as the listener.
Appropriately, ?Yama-Keburi? ends the record peaceably with a comedown number (best enjoyed sitting Indian-style): Sachiko?s gorgeous hums slip around a looping, lilting chant that slowly scales up and down, up and down. You?re very satisfied, and you?re eyes are getting heavy.
(Bonus: my favorite cover-art of ?06.) 8/10 -- Andrew Meehan (20 February, 2007)