If it takes a second to fully grasp it, that’s not weird. No, you shouldn’t feel weird at all hesitating over that extra moment in response to any release in the Orange Milk catalog. Nothing is easy. Everything is visceral, or abstract, or encoded, or secret. Diving into any OM release takes preparation, some stretching, maybe, if we’re going to extend this jumping-into-water metaphor. You gotta make sure those upper and lower body muscles aren’t tight, that the extremities are loose and limber. Plus the ears – you gotta stretch out the ears. Go ahead, pull them down. I promise I won’t be snapping any clandestine pics of you doing that to upload to your Facebook profile later.
(You look ridiculous.)
Shake it out. You’re ready. It’s CVN this time, so I’m not sure where that falls on the preparation spectrum, but you can ease into it. In fact, Nobuyuki Sakuma, aka CVN (also of Jesse Ruins) starts off his new record i.c with one for the people, an honest-to-goodness electro-pop track featuring Japanese singer NTsKi, a delectable confection that wiggles its way into your brain and continues to wiggle around in there until you become convinced that it’s taken on corporeal form and you probably have to go to the doctor to have it removed. But you don’t! It’s a song, you can relax.
Not that the rest of i.c doesn’t have its share of sweet cuts, it’s just that the NTsKi tune seems to go out of its way to ingratiate itself to you. Which is just fine by me – it happens to cast the rest of the record in relief to it. This isn’t CVN’s first go-round at Orange Milk, so it should be no surprise that Sakuma fits right in to the aesthetic, as he peppers his tracks with blasts of digital noise and shocking industrial textures at points, but these aren’t the main event; in fact, they simply serve to flavor the rest of the material like something off the (promo copy alert) PAN or Halcyon Veil labels (two paragons of modern electronic music). Truly, Sakuma dabbles in whatever his mind is drawn to, and listening to i.c you wouldn’t be surprised that he has close relationships with other OM mainstays like Koeosaeme (with whom he’s hitting the road with on tour) and Foodman.
CVN actually meanders down delicate textural paths at times, the soft sonics striking juxtapositions to the shredding blurts. But of course, this being an Orange Milk release and all, the whole thing is a surprise from one minute to the next, which is sort of the point. CVN refuses to be pinned down to a genre, either to ambient or to footwork or to techno or to pop or whatever, and that’s what makes i.c such a rewarding listen. Rewarding, of course, if you’re properly stretched out and prepared and whatnot. Can’t mess around with that unconventional music.