Category Archives: ambient

Aya Sekine & Sleep Easy live at Syndicate’s Subsessions

Aya Sekine

Aya Sekine was brought to my attention after we received the mailer from the awesome folk at Syndicate that she would be featured alongside Pleasantry’s Isa Ong who will be performing as Sleep Easy the next installment of Syndicate’s Subsessions. Curious, I decided to take a gander at what awaited us this Saturday.

Aya Sekine plays beautiful jazz improvisations on her piano and keyboards. I probably didn’t realise, but I’d heard her play at the Blu Jaz cafe / bar, and I was always impressed by the music I was hearing as it reminded me of a particular jazz bar that I frequented while studying in Perth. What’s really getting me excited is the promise that she will unleash a more experimental side, not just in terms of musicality, but technology as well. In the mean time, I’m happy to pass on a listen of her music.

mp3: Aya Sekine – Syndrome

Sleep Easy

Sleep Easy will also be performing aside the accomplished Aya Sekine, and while she delves into the sometimes manic maelstroms of jazz improvisation, Sleep Easy approaches his craft in a more delicate and simple manner. It does evoke the sort of rising slumber in a field of golden grass routine, but I think it’s the perfect counterpoint to each others’ body of work.

mp3: Sleep Easy – Fingertips

Syndicate’s Subsessions will be happening at The Substation Theater, 45 Armenian Street on 25 August 2012, 8PM – 10PM, and also features visuals by Syndicate’s resident artist, Brandon Tay. Tickets are $20 at the door. There’s more information at Syndicate’s post here.


#43 stars of the lid – even if you’re never awake

there’s a cumbersome quality about words that weighs you down with particular fixed meanings. the lack of words, however, is often awkward, frustrating, even spastic. the “instrumental” fills the gap in between by offering a canvas awash with moods and associations that say something when arranged together with enough spaces between for meanings to emerge freely and subjectively. not that it cannot be manipulative, for it often is (eg. the cinematic soundtrack), or on the other end of the spectrum, perceived as meaningless and unintelligible (eg. noise and drone). what that means is that there’s something elusive about finding that right balance – something which i found as i picked up my long forgotten kranky kompilation album with its well chosen opener by stars of the lid. reminiscent of the groundbreaking ambient work of eno, “even if you’re never awake” strikes that balance, but only just – the waves of emotion and sentiment released are often on the brink of spilling over, but are always pulled back just in time, the soundscape itself ever in control, but never overbearing.

mp3: stars of the lid – even if you’re never awake (version)