Ai Aso Lone

[Ideologic Organ; 2014]

Styles: sublime minimalism, folk, slowcore, dream pop
Others: Michio Kurihara, Charalambides, Grouper, Codeine

Loneliness, as in playing a solo warm-up set at Tokyo’s Daikanyama UNIT on November 3, 2012, in front of hundreds waiting to hear Boris, Sunn O))), and then Chelsea Wolfe drown the vague memory of your performance in blankets of distortion, feedback, and animus.

Loneliness, as in the condition spoken by delicate and tentative guitar melodies that retread their own involuted steps again and again, unable to connect with anything external that might catalyze them into self-realizing progressions and developments, that might raise the filmy languor of “Agenda” into an escape from its own shipwrecked pining.

Loneliness, as in the detachment and solitude that blunts the emotion expressed by Ai Aso’s watery voice during “Kamitsure No Ookina Mizutamari” and “Most Children Do,” the deprivation of human contact and those confirmations without which her singing is imbued with a stillborn hesitation, halting repeatedly during two disarming lulls in the one song and submitting to almost cherubic reserve amidst the suspended keyboards of the other.

Loneliness, as in the magnification of self-absorption and self-dissection that comes from having nothing to cleave to but your own isolated self, as in having your frailties, failings, and foibles painfully undressed in an extreme closeup that’s borne in the sustained and languishing notes of “Komish,” thumb-picked mournings that expand heavily above you to saturate the vacuum left by the world’s disappearance.

Loneliness, as in the double bind of having your own outlines drained from you just as you’re barricaded from the mirror of other people, so that when you reach the haunted “Colchium” and the close of its dazed verses, all you can squeeze off your tongue are nonverbal coos, woos, and “doos” that escape even your supposedly expert self-knowledge, that leave you to dissolve into spectral guitar plucks as they once again hang in the air.

Loneliness, as in having what may be your first introduction to a non-domestic audience consist in tracks recorded live but originating from earlier studio albums, one of which is 10 years old, so that the impression your new friends will form of you is potentially outdated and inaccurate, liable to preclude the understanding and complementarity that would allow you to be who you are at this present stage in your life.

Loneliness, as in evoking an unworldy and abstracted subjectivity that wouldn’t be fully comprehended even if it were contemporary, that speaks through the seductive “Date” and its numinous, ascending synth line in a unique dialect that no audience could process without adulterating the singularity it possesses only in exile, where it’s paradoxically threatened with its own suffocation.

Loneliness, as in having the stripped yearning of closer “Land” used as justification for an “other” list that includes such flimsy touchstones as Charalambides, Grouper, and Codeine, being confronted with a crowd who think of you only insofar as they think of other people, estranging you in the play of signifiers and resemblances.

Loneliness, as in Lone.

Links: Ai Aso - Ideologic Organ


Some releases are so incredible we just can’t help but exclaim EUREKA! While many of our picks here defy categorization and explore the constructed boundaries between ‘music’ and ‘noise,’ others complement, continue, or rupture traditions that provide new forms and ways of listening. Not all of our favorites will be listed here, but we think each EUREKA! album is worthy of careful consideration. This section is a work-in-progress, so expect its definition to be in perpetual flux.

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