CD, Thisco, 2007
The declension into the subconscious vacation that is Randy Greif and Kenji Siratori’s new album “Narcoleptic Cells” is an Ambien-induced ambient adventure of psychotic proportions. From the beginning you are suspended in a tumultuous state implicative of short-circuit in the brain of some bastardized amalgamation of a Phillip K. Dick android frozen in a nuclear winter and scanning channels on a shortwave radio. Sound swells around you as if being washed in a supersaturated ocean of phosphorescent salts, clicking and whirring with chromed life forms only faintly redolent of our own deepest oceans. Without notice one drifts irreverently from these blissfully abstract surroundings into the remoteness of some plasmatic corner space. This fluxation of textures is ceaseless throughout the album and could draw limitless analogies; from the conflagration of your own auditory circuitry to cheesy Casio keyboard new age motifs. Each coming into realization and disappearing again just as quickly.
Only vocal accompaniment is present throughout the entirety of album, although it lapses only momentarily into an audible form or even as something recognizable as the human voice. Not unlike recognition of a pattern in a cloud formation, surfacing before disappearing again in a mass of chaos, Kenji Siratori’s vocals arise from a mass of filtration and distortion if only for a moment becoming illuminated and comprehensible. With one exception at the center of the composition these moments of clarity are dispersed throughout the piece in brief flirtatious intervals. There, in the middle, resembling some sort of crescendo, is a clear stream of consciousness recitation of Kenji’s written works leading you to believe it to be the peak of some nonexistent psychedelic or the high water mark of your awareness from schizophrenic rapture. Then like a post seizure confused awakening from an epileptic fit, it is over.
Only and wholly defined by the ever-shifting sound, this otherwise characteristic dark ambient body, with its morphing atmospherics accompanied by infinitesimal moments of intelligible spoken word, is as good as it gets.
— George Caruso