When the world slipped into madness last month, the ESP Institute put most releases on the back-burner to await brighter days, but then we thought again; why not approach these odd circumstances the way we do most realities, positively and head-on? We’re committed to a community that builds new worlds — this is fundamental to our creative and spiritual relationship with Osaka-born, cosmos-straggling artist, Ground — and while temporarily we can’t physically congregate to uplift each other, its our responsibility as an institution to maintain a platform for prolific creative pioneers, our cherished cartographers of cognitive escape. 'Wakusei' is wonderfully confusing and disorienting music, a follow-up EP to 2018’s critically acclaimed album 'Sunizm', not created specifically for life under lockdown, but nonetheless aptly suited to help release angst, guide meditation, and assist in making this moment in history more interesting if not transcendental. Whereas 'Sunizm' relied on field recordings gathered from rainforests, percussions learned from imaginary ancient civilizations, and the somehow organic freneticism of a mission control meltdown, the aesthetic of 'Wakusei' reduces this abstract instrumentation one step further to a more base-level array of gurgling synth scraps, accelerating engine friction and static-bound phonetic mistakes, all scrubbed into dust by a Brillo pad of white noise. The cliché of “great art is born out of hard times” is not lost upon us — of course the world will look back to this turmoil and its residual contributions to culture — but we see today's art as an immediate coping mechanism, and artists like Ground helping to unlock and navigate internal utopias. We’re already indoors, let’s delve inside.
Published: 13th April 2020