CD, Electr-Ohm, 2008
Sunao Inami has been a rather active participant in the international experimental and underground electronics music scenes for some time. Having released an impressive five albums in as many years and participated in a significant number of compilations, in addition to managing his own record label and mail order service, one is perhaps tempted to ask if his talent and skill match such creative output. In Inami’s case, it would appear to be so.
This is Sunao Inami’s second full-length release in 2008, following “How Bow 2,” an album which focused on the exploration of old-school industrial and ambient soundscapes with the use of contemporaneous sound technology. “LaidBack Computing” sees Inami returning to what is, for those familiar with his musical creations, more familiar territory. Sunao Inami’s music is abstract music par excellence, allying a chirurgical IDM sensibility with glitch elements of varying intensity and subtlety as well as occasional field recordings (which lend it a feeling of musique concrète) and gentle drones. Shirking melodic elements for the most part, Inami prefers the use of looped rhythmic sequence bursts either to interrupt meditative soundscapes or as the actual basis for more intense tracks. Overall, the sound elements used in these compositions are quite simple, but skillfully layered into repeating patterns with seemingly random sound elements that appear at the right time and with the right degree of subtlety, introducing unexpected quirks that prevent monotony from installing itself on the listener.
Interestingly, from time to time, there is a feeling that part of the motivation for this release is actually playing with the machinery and simply finding out what its limits may be. Though not bad per se, this kind of approach does have its pitfalls in that the end result can become a kind of self-gratification accessible only to the initiated, while others would find its appeal limited. Thankfully, that is not the case with this release. Though somewhat ceremonial at points, and never quite organic, the compositions on this album are ostensibly relaxing or relaxed, making its title an adequate one.
“Laid Back Computing” is as good as one would expect from an artist like Sunao Inami, sure to please his fans and appeal to appreciators of abstract electronic music. Tracks like “Sleep,Dream,Optimize,” “Waiting In The Grain,” “Till You Come” and the title track, though not for everyone’s taste, may even appeal to those not familiar with this kind of abstract electronic music, potentially making “LaidBack Computing” a good introduction.
— Miguel de Sousa