Monday, 15 August 2011
Griff says; Tiny things in a tiny space from totokoko
I've realised looking back at my blogs in the last couple of months that I've deviated a little from my stated intentions, and indeed the agenda I set in the first year of this blog, to bring to you the best undiscovered and overlooked lo-fi experimental folk, and visual art, that the internet can offer. This being the case, I'm glad to say that today's 'Griff says' piece brings us squarely back to the sort of music that I hope you've come to know and love as much as I do; soft and light and lovely with a hint of hesitant introspection.
Today, I want to introduce you to a netlabel that offers a veritable deluge of just such music (plus more); that label is totokoko from Japan. totokoko was launched in January 2010 and since then have delivered 22 music releases. The label specialises in ambient, folktronica, instrumental music with the occasional foray into indie-pop. Their latest release (totokoko 021) is the excellent 'ame to wonder' by the Japanese musician Daisuke Ogura (pictured), recording under the pseudonym 'Bed'.
This album contains 11 chilled ambient lullabies recorded using acoustic guitar and toy instruments then given an electronic makeover. Daisuke describes the concept as "the sound of the rain and sleep" and "a story about the middle of the night". Have a listen to sleep/forest (available on the album as a remixed bonus track) to get a flavour of the sound:
sleep/forest. by Bed.
The 'ame to wonder' album can be freely downloaded 'here'. Indeed, all of the music and art released by totokoko is freely available. If you're wondering about that reference to art, then let me elucidate. totokoko, you see, is more than just a music portal; they also have a commitment to bring you the work of photographers, painters and illustrators whose visual art fits in with the totokoko aesthetic. As with the music, that aesthetic can be described as delicate, sensitive, harmonious and tasteful. Here are a few examples:
Kazumi Osawa/大沢 かずみ
totokoko also has a further project, entitled 'four coloured season'. This is an online photography exhibit which aspires to convey the various colours and shapes of spring, summer, autumn and winter as they are experienced by many different people. The project is open to all and totokoko are keen to accept your photographs. To view the current photographs and to find details of how and where to send your own efforts, see 'here'. Below are some of my favourite photographs so far:
Any budding artists, photographers or musicians out there should also note that totokoko are on the lookout for more artists. So, if you are interested in a net release, and if you fit into there overall sound; soft instrumental,detailed istrumental or cute pop, drop them an e-mail. Similarly, if you are interested in a sensitive introduction of your visual art to the wider world then send them a sample of some of your work.
I'll finish by embedding 'one song for one album', a recent totokoko soundcloud release, which showcases the sounds of the label's stable of musicians. Hopefully, there'll be something there which will take your fancy.
totokoko release. one song for one album by totokokolabel