Defining genres of music is always a difficult thing. One genre that’s suffered more than most is “post-rock”, and whatever that actually means. There’s also the description “math-rock” as well, whatever that entails. Japanese act Lite would fall into these categories if only because their record Filmlets contains 10 tracks of pure music, no singing, all instrumentals. However, unlike Mogwai or Explosions In The Sky, Lite’s music is influenced more by Jazz than anything else. This has more in common with Nel Cline’s solo efforts, it’s Jazz but not as you might know it. There’s no quiet, loud, quiet passages, the music washes over you like an im prov Jazz session and, in places, all the instruments are played within inches of their lives and they create an amazing aural sound scape in which you can immerse yourself.
For all this though, it’s not a difficult record to listen to but it begs to be played through headphones, this brings out the intricate details of the music and you can hear every guitar chord with pin-point clarity and appreciate how complex and impressive the compositions are. These aren’t songs of noise, they’re pieces of carefully written and played music. The excellent Re and Contemporary Disease bring to mind Shellac at their combustible best, the noise of shredding guitars and thumping drums burst through the speakers.
Whilst is doesn’t always work, the record does lose momentum as it goes on, …Still, It Is Quiet Around Here is a little too ponderous and laid back for it’s own good and Spiral Gate has moments where the guitars grate a little too much, there’s plenty to enjoy and Transduction Records need to be congratulated on bringing these little known Eastern acts to the wider attention of the West.