Japancakes


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If I Could See Dallas , 6/10
The Sleepy Strange , 6/10
Waking Hours (2004), 6.5/10
Giving Machines (Darla, 2007), 6/10
Loveless (Darla, 2007), 6/10
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(Clicka qua per la versione Italiana)

Japancakes is an instrumental project formed in 1997 in Athens (Georgia) by Eric Berg, a big fan of Indian sitar player Ravi Shankar. Legend has it that, originally, Berg assembled this ensemble to play a Steve Reich-ian minimalistic composition made of only a single chord for one hour.

If I Could See Dallas (Kindercore, 1999) is a sprawling exhibition of that method, although not quite as austere and uncompromising. Thanks to pedal steel player John Neff, Japancakes often sounds like a country version of Slint or a meeting of Tortoise and of Godspeed You Black Emperor. From the same recording sessions the band produced the four-track 40-minute EP Down the Elements (Kindercore, 2000).

The Sleepy Strange (Kindercore, 2001) contains seven lengthy jams that were fully improvised with no rehearsals. This time the cello of Heather McIntosh and the keyboards of Todd Kelly join the pedal steel in directing the hypnotic, droning and symphonic sound.

The combo (Eric Berg on guitar, John Neff on pedal steel guitar, Heather McIntosh on cello and keyboards, Nick Bielli on bass guitar, Brant Rackley on drums) achieves an almost transcendental fusion of post-rock, alt-country and atmospheric instrumental rock (Calexico) on Waking Hours (Warm, 2004).

Giving Machines (Darla, 2007), containing eight gentle instrumentals, is another dreamy work.

They also recorded a full version of My Bloody Valentine's Loveless (Darla, 2007).

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