When the cover art to an independently-released record features an idyllic scene of children playing with cats, it’s to be expected that there’s something more sinister underfoot. This is proved within a minute of the first track of this odd collaboration between two acts featuring Japanese artists. Yu-chi’s first contribution, ‘Bustle, Conflict And Me’ sounds like the most demonic of marching bands. At least this multi-instrumentalist realises not everything needs to be quite so chaotic and indeed ‘The First Star’ offers the kind of instrumental, childlike whimsy one might associate a little closer with the cover art, thanks to its winning combination of strings and toy-sampling playfulness. Then ‘Toy Joy’ almost seem to join the marching band and toys together to deliver what could have been the result of Icelandic experimentalists Múm being asked to create a new soundtrack for an animated TV series.
Anata Wa Sukkari Tsukarete Shimai (or AWSTS to give them their more pronounceable abbreviation are _ (underscore), gnomefoam and bunny from Japan, England and Scotland. Odd nicknames aside, their three songs are actually remixes which serve to make some already bizarre songs even stranger. Gluid’s remix of ‘Cataract’ is eerie, ‘Lost In The Forest Of Blank Sportswear’ sounds thoroughly evil whilst ‘My Drive’, one of AWSTS’s most coherent and haunting songs, is reduced to a minimalist makeover by Rune Martinsen.
Bearsuit Records have earned a reputation for releasing the most curious of music. There are moments here when they overstep the mark by being a bit too avant garde but otherwise they make some surprisingly enjoyable freaky tunes.