Japanese artist W.ANNA.W has had an impressive 2023, releasing a solo project called Narrative Therapy on Tokyo’s Mizuha (which we covered in the past) label and a collaborative EP Crystalline with Quit Life on Soul Feeder.

Her POSTWORLD debut is arguably her most experimental output yet. On the first track, W.ANNA.W masterfully manipulates a noise recording of a car engine, showing a calm curiosity by pulling out layers of intriguing and eerie textures from this most mundane of sound sources. You can learn more about POSTWORLD in our previous article.

But this is just a prelude. The second track’s title, „剣片喰 (Kenkatabami)“, is based on the sword, an image that represents the shape of W.ANNA.W’s family crest. Traversing ideas of personal history and tradition, W.ANNA.W incorporates hard taiko drums and koto to express a martial spirit, arranging these alongside a range of microsounds into a dramatic shape-shifting piece that brings to mind the organic thump of the gorge. Imagine Berghain or a dark industrial place for this music to blast on the dancefloor.

Enjoy the song in our exclusive premiere, and read more about the project in the little interview below ➘

✦ First of all, congratulations on the exciting EP, it’s wonderful! I would love to know the creative process behind these 2 tracks? Was it a difficult and long process, or something, you recorded quickly?

Thank you. Yes, first of all, track “0” was completed in a shorter period of production than “Kenkatabami”. I wanted to incorporate the sound of a car engine and I had always wanted to create noise music, so I was able to immediately imagine the atmosphere of the track and output it as a song. However “剣片喰 (Kenkatabami)” was the first time I used taiko as the main instrument, I struggled to control and arrange the rhythms and detailed sounds of the taiko.

✦ I’m especially interested in the song “剣片喰 (Kenkatabami)” (as written in the PR text: “is based on the sword, an image that represents the shape of W.ANNA.W’s family crest”. How does this sword represent your family, and how did you want to recreate it in a song? Where did you look for the inspiration?

The “sword” in the family crest was used as a standard weapon in battle and was one of the subjects that symbolized the spirit of nobility. So, I tried to imagine and reproduce the strength of samurai-like spirituality in my music. This is also the first time “剣片喰(Kenkatabami)” has focused on my identity in a deeper way than before, and the song represents a part of myself.

✦ We can hear a GORGE inspiration if I’m correct. Does this interesting subgenre inspire you?

If a song that uses Japanese drums and other instruments and is characterized by bass and distortion is recognizable as GORGE, then perhaps it is. As I mentioned about this music, I incorporated the sounds of taiko and koto into the electronic music because I was conscious of traditional Japanese culture.

Artwork by Morgan Patimo (IG: @morganpatimo)
Mastering by Personalbrand / Release Date: 29, 2023 (Pre-order via Bandcamp)

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