Monday, March 15, 2010

Aiko Shimada Cannot Be Pegged But She Can Be Much Appreciated

Originally posted on December 19, 2008

Singer and songwriter Aiko Shimada does not produce music that is in any way what one might expect, whatever that could be. Her Blue Marble (Tzadik) release goes from piece to piece in a way that fascinates and enthralls. She can sing a rather tender song that is arranged for voice and small string group, she can traverse landscapes of breath, breadth and significance with a recurring guitar pattern and ambient drones interspersed with nicely wrought instrumental interjections while her multi-tracked voice waxes ethereal.

She also lets guitarist Bill Frisell construct tapestries of stringed moodiness that set her voice off dramatically. It’s another really nice one from Tzadik. They impress me with the widely ranging sorts of music they release and the taste with which they select the artists and pieces involved. Someone who likes Bjork may find Aiko a subtle counterpart to such vocalisms, only rather more gentle, perhaps. The music sticks with you after a few hearings. You might want to give a listen yourself.

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