I was in Avalanche, Edinburgh's best indie record store, and found a promo copy of "28" by Tujiko Noriko and Aoki Takamasa. Some poor journalist in Edinburgh on the Fat Cat label's mailing list was forced to sell his promos to buy food. When I got the record home and played it the first thing I noticed was its sparse arrangements, funky and ticky. Much more stripped-down than Tujiko Noriko's rather disappointing record with Aki Onda, "From Tokyo to Niagara". Of course, Aoki Takamasa used to be in Silicom, a sort of ticky-tocky techno outfit. (He and Tujiko Noriko are both 28 years old, and both live in Paris.) The second thing I noticed was that, despite the difference in arrangment style, it's very much a Tujiko Noriko record. In other words, it's slow and full of achingly emotional lyrics about relationships and sex — vagin chantant, as Toog puts it; "singing vagina music". And of course it sounds a bit like a Japanese Bjork. The next thing I noticed was that one of the songs is about lift girls, full of exaggeratedly polite and detached "going up!" lyrics. Then I noticed that there are some lovely slow strings behind some of the busy, funky, clicky percussion tracks. Then I noticed that I wanted to put this record on every time I came home, and that it always sounded good when I did. Then I noticed that Andy, whose flat on Dundas Street I'm staying in, is also on the Fat Cat mailing list and has a promo copy of the same bloody record lying next to his stereo. Grrrrrr, I could have ripped it! But this is one record worth buying.
(By the way, follow the Toog link — he's been in Sardinia quarrying marble for a statue!)