CVN – I.C.

Nobuyuki Sakuma, one half of the Jesse Ruins Duo, and editor of AVYSS Magazine is an artist of prolific output. His solo project, CVN returns with a new release, I.C. – a collection of experimental music that soundtracks nocturnal cities and internal inquiries.

The artist’s previous solo release, Matters, established CVN as a project with a distinct tone in experimental electronic music. Here though I.C. opens with ‘成分’.  Perhaps this is the most ‘pop’ sounding track that we’ve heard from the Sakuma. With vocals from Japanese singer NTsKi, a frequent collaborator with FOODMAN, progress is still cut with angular, powdered melodies – but at it’s heart this is a song that issues invitation to the larger, less familiar intention of the album

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The sequence of twelve tracks perhaps feels more reflective than other releases from CVN. There’s a melancholy that permeates progression. Melodies frequently drop into minor keys. Oftentimes a tempo will trip over itself – this is glitchwork, but not as you know it. It is nuanced, cryptic, and deliberately uncertain – a bit of magic for music of this type.

There’s a sense that this is an album built with vinyl in mind. There are two distinct passages. The first half of the process, pop element notwithstanding, contains amorphous vocal work, dystopian scenery, and a kind of dislocate between viewer and object. The second half of the sequence is damn-near uplifting. Whatever troubled the narrator has now been lifted, sedated, or moved beyond. Again, tracks are populated with light, and breezier elements which bring surprise and reward with replay.

We should pause on the idea of vinyl, and CVN. Electronica is not a genre known for achieving the kind of earthy timbre that is accomplished here. As an album I.C. shines beneath a digital light, it’s true, and there are moments of almost clinical precision where production values sound like over-polished crystal. However, at the center of each track is an earthy tone; a human scale heart that compels inquiry.

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