REVIEW: Schwarzwald - "Kuroi-Mori"

By Austin Govella

Chain Border

Kuroi-MoriDistant trip hop and drum n' bass written and performed by former Last of Ride member Hiroki Furutani. Strings and gauzy choral samples cloak the opener, Forest-Black, the album's opener, a down tempo, trip hop wonder, straight out of a Black Forest fairy tale. Soaring female vocals, backed by an operatic male voice carry the bulk of the song.

Kinetic break beats stun the peace as Hiroki invokes whimsical samples, and whirlwind atmospheres to introduce the second cut, Spring - Pink. But the break is another song altogether, leaning more towards the opener than the previous frenetic pace.

Hiroki's confidence and sound design produce a very centered album, despite its resistance to categorization. It feels like trip hop but with a slight archaic feel, interspersed with the occasional break beats.

Piano - Pewter takes up trip-hop rhythms, once again, over placid key pads. Soothing bass grooves lope underneath. Ever-present samples are buried underneath.

But towards the back half of the disk, Huroki injects faux-seventies funk. Rust-Rust follows an undulating bass line in determined pursuit of a groove. Superball - Auburn adds a dash of the same flavor, pseudo funk spicing up Schwarzwald's mellow world.

December - Mauve, the parting volley closes the album with soothing atmospheres created by strings and the steady, but mellow rhythm, a great album to chill out, relax, or read to.

Contact Information:
Post: Tone Casualties, 6353 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028
Web: http://www.tonecasualties.com

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