SPD#020: Lo-Shi – 目は犀 / 体は熊

Lo-shi is a French instrumental duo formed in Tokyo at the beginning of 2012 and consisting of Gotal (guitar, drum machine, sampling) and Ralouf (theremin, synthesizer).

Their approach to music is essentially artless and improvisational, driven by a belief in _negative capability_ and sprinkled with a dadaist sense of humour. Variously dubbed “kraut’n’bass” and “contemporary dreamcore”, the cinematic soundscapes they create through the repetition and contrast of concrete samples, minimal rhythm patterns and melodic phrases often drenched in reverb and delay, flutter indecisively somewhere between ambient, drone music, krautrock and 90’s electronica.

Most of Lo-shi’s live performances feature video projections as a counterpoint to the music, and since a performance with Damo Suzuki at Tokyo’s Roppongi SuperDeluxe in November 2013, they have also been experimenting with live soundtrack improvisation. More recently, they have been involved with butoh-influenced contemporary dancers.

They do not perceive themselves exactly as a band so much as a minimal collective against boredom, eager to collaborate with other visual or performing artists to create and enjoy unique situations, moments of _kairos_ that foster participation rather than passive consumption in the audience — a vision underlying Tententen, the monthly playground-event they organise with Koenji underground label Call And Response Records.

Following their first album “Flasque” that came out as a memory stick in a spice-jar in March 2013, they are about to release a mini concept-album based on “Baku”, a supernatural being from Chinese and Japanese mythology. The album is a musical exploration and re-interpretation of this nightmare-devouring creature in five songs, one for each part of the chimera. Here are the two opening tracks:

“Me wa sai” (The eyes of a rhino) and “Karada wa kuma” (The body of a bear).

The full album will be available for download on Bandcamp on June 15, before being released on Call And Response Records as a limited edition vinyl later this year.

Download FLAC // Download MP3

Lo-Shi: Soundcloud // Facebook

Artwork : Tassos Papaioannou / One Man Show studio