We’re friends, right? Lots of laughs, lot of good times around these digital grounds? Alright, I thought so, because I’m going to show you something. I’m going to show you…the past! That linked post comes at you about a month I started this blog, and woooo boy does it reveal how little I knew about Japanese music (possibly any music, possibly anything). One inclusion in that list that is genuinely surprising is Rainstick Orchestra, a duo that made one of the few Japanese albums I actually heard while still living in the U.S., The Floating Glass Key In The Sky. In college, that album’s sweet instrumentals flattened me, and I listened to it (and especially “Waltz For A Little Bird“) a lot. But I never saw them do anything else, so I sort of just assumed I was late to the it.
But fate of fates, while clicking around Apple Music’s “new releases” section today I saw…a new Rainstick Orchestra album, and had an intense rush of nostalgia before diving in to The Shape Of The Cloud. Turns out they just took time before full-lengths, and stored up a lot of material for this new one, which is double the length of Glass Key. Yet the same airy feeling — of drifting peacefully with only some digital raindrops to worry about — permeates these songs (which you might be able to hear on Apple Music? Spotify? I don’t know how the regions work on this). “Deception” (above) works in a bouncy minimal house rumble, but never eyes the dancefloor as much as it worries about creating a laid back vibe. “Anchorage” (below) sounds more like how I remember the pair, with analog instruments sneaking into a mix that features some digital ripples. I’m still getting over this rush, but if you can find this, spend some time with The Shape Of The Cloud.