The Observatory & Koichi Shimizu – Demon State [MNSXLP004]


The Observatory is one of those last few bands that can change and become your life. Stuck in Singapore, the wilful outlier of Southeast Asia, this ever-shifting group stubbornly evolves past its roots, most recently in an more improvisational, instrumental, and noise-adjacent territories in an EP with collaborator Haino Keiji. In “Demon State”, Dharma and Cheryl Ong plus Yuen Chee Wai continue The Observatory’s bold partnerships, this time with electronic musician Koichi Shimizu. Together, they finally reach this long-gestating, total (yet I’m sure temporary), and rhythm-focused, electronic reinvention of The Obs—while briefly nodding to their past. The road is long; “Demon State” is one pit stop in glorious hell. Partly stemming from a casual, improv studio session with Koichi in early 2020, the eight tracks on “Demon State” – their first release on the Midnight Shift label – were formed from a gradual accumulation of sonic layers; they were foraged, recycled, and pieced together remotely also from solo bedroom recordings, a historical sample, nonhuman beats and effects, as well as journals and junk.

listen

The Observatory & Koichi Shimizu – Demon State [MNSXLP004]

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