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Unpop by Yximalloo

As the press release infers, this is Japanese artist Yximalloo’s first commercially released recording in thirteen years. Armed with a Dell laptop and the appropriate software, the artist’s thoroughly abstract and fractured spin on what might be coined as unpopular pop music is a curiously interesting assault on one’s aural network. And as history dictates, many Japanese synthesists have spun a web of nouveau musical notions within numerous genres, spanning several decades. But Yximallo’s approach is bizarrely unique.

The CD booklet includes insightful and tongue-in-cheek notes by an artist who goes by the name of Momus. Here, we learn that Yximalloo’s favorite film director is Charlie Chaplin and enjoys Greek music from the 1920s among other anecdotes and references to music pioneers John Cage and Captain Beefheart. Nonetheless, these 24, largely two and three-minute pieces are engineered upon computer generated blues motifs amid incoherent vocals, oddball EFX and processed rhythms. Yximalloo also renders a discombobulated take on pop singer Donovan’s "There Is No Mountain."

Yximalloo often executes quaint rhythmic motifs that are sometimes programmatic and interweave with layers of sinewy digital treatments via his multi-functional implementations. With echo-laden simulated plucks of stringed instruments and minimalist like semblances of Techno music, the artist decomposes pop into a mind-altering spectrum.

At times his music-making exercises surface as cartoonish in concert with asymmetrical themes built on faint sound-waves and alien communications. His ideology is weirdly warped yet somewhat infectious. Regardless, Yximalloo fast-forwards pop music into electronic decadence, perhaps aided by a sense of social debilitation. Either the future looks to be a digital mess where life becomes vacuous or all music making is solely passed through artificial intelligence mechanisms. Another notion that comes to fruition might be analogous to the connotations set forth by Thelonious Monk’s piece titled "Ugly Beauty." Needless to state, Yximalloo offers quite a bit for the mind to digest here on this strangely captivating album.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Yximalloo
  • CD Title: Unpop
  • Genre: Electronica
  • Year Released: 2008
  • Record Label: ESP-Disk
  • Rating: Three Stars
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