Published Feb 01, 2017Tokyo-based Jun Kimata's Shape of My Voice EP makes good on the synesthetic wordplay of its title. Anyone who's spent time with Ableton or Logic will understand the concept of thinking about music in visual terms; Kimata, an acid techno enthusiast and sound designer by trade, explores the contours of the human voice to satisfying effect on this four-track EP.
Each track features the human voice in some capacity, either speaking (there is no singing, per se), or, more interestingly, as just another rhythmic element in Kimata's meticulously arranged soundscapes. The heart of this concept is found in "Untitled 2," the EP's experimental second track, a beatless collage of digitally treated human voices gradually accruing into a cacophony of synthetic textures. It's an interesting explication of the idea animating Kimata's work here, but will hold limited appeal for those not versed or interested in production/sound design. On an already short release, it frankly takes up valuable space.
The rest of the EP is far more accessible. Kimata's day job has clearly given him a technician's knowledge of sonic architecture. His textures are tight and crisp, his beats simple but expertly placed — it is a deft, if perhaps joyless style. The propulsive "Train Music" is definitely the highlight here, featuring swooping tones (built seemingly from the human voice) that ingeniously evoke distant objects approaching, then sliding past a train window. A solid remix of this track by Andres Aguirre rounds out what is overall a solid offering from Kimata — a concise, distinctive EP that leaves one hungry for more. (Forbidden Colours)