Ytamo MI WO

[Someone Good; 2016]

Styles: seasonal pop, unnatural meadow, cuddling
Others: Brian Eno, Paper Mario, Foodman, Mid-Century Modern, Eartheater, David Ohle, Stereolab, Wii Menu, D) none of the above


Like a snowglobe shaken up to reveal a dazzling array of seasons contained within, MI WO is a strange and surprising trinket. It contains multitudes, seemingly endless strains of modern electronic thought and musical progression, but in the end, MI WO stands for nothing but itself. You can gaze into MI WO and see colors, textures, worlds, ideologies, or you can close your eyes and see MI WO for what it simply is. To behold MI WO is to know MI WO.


MI WO is a culmination. Within its walls, the distinction between the acoustic and the synthetic is a fickle, insignificant footnote. There are sounds that scan as uncanny, yet in MI WO they are strangely at peace, like a camouflage knit together from construction paper. Indeed, MI WO is an album of fusion, of voice and of structure, but it arrives to us full and complete. It’s a present, a gift of reassurance, a suggestion that perhaps we’ve come far enough to close the book on one saga and open up the next. It engages with serenity in a completely benevolent way, taking sounds that others might use symbolically and turning them into something refined and authentic. In its way, it lays to rest so much chatter about machinery, unreality, capitalism, and conflict, and allows these sounds to live unencumbered. Although it speaks our language, MI WO is conducting a very different kind of conversation.


MI WO is a blanket. In times of harshness and fracture, it is a friend and a protector. Its world is deeply intimate, yet sprawling and free, suggesting the closeness of romance while offering a path toward inward, personal discovery. It’s melancholy, but in the best way, spinning loose fragments of feeling into a series of plastic vignettes, childlike yet focused and mature. Its phrases loop upon themselves, gaining momentum effortlessly until those sweet moments of cohesion burst through, those drum patterns that even for all their softness hit surprisingly hard, strides that feel like a reward. Somehow, through all of the tones that imply coldness, flatness, and sterility, MI WO is overflowing with warm, soothing energy.


MI WO is a call to action. It’s pop music filtered through a trickling stream, invigorating in its calm assuredness of form and spirit. The avant-garde is a mere tool in Ytamo’s hands, the digital a complete extension of her body, no patch too twisted to be spun into a shimmering, boundless hook. Rhythm and melody become one in MI WO, each track epic in its build yet controlled in its dissolve, none bearing a structure so much as a logical passage of mood. It is a plea, a demonstration of the ease with which the mind-altering, the provocative, the simple, and the instinctual can mingle with one another, become something between a dance and a stillness, and evolve into a higher state of being. For how easy it is to enjoy MI WO, its effect is surprisingly powerful.


MI WO is nothing but MI WO. To hear it is to engage in a form of listening between the head, the hands, and the heart, to speak the language of the mind and uncover the soul of the body. Neither anti-intellectual nor anti-physical, it flows with a comfortable mastery of its concepts, illustrating a beautiful disregard for the lines too commonly drawn between competing forms of expression. It refuses to be any one thing besides beautiful. It is a tender expression of love, the distilling of a frantic, radical sensibility into a fine, compassionate body, welcoming and eager to elevate. Let it slip beneath your consciousness, induce you to hear and feel outside of your rationalizing mind, outside of your bodily impulses. MI WO is speaking to you, extending its very soul as an offering to yours. All you have to do is return the gesture.

Links: Ytamo - Someone Good


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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