Tabs Out | Yosuke Tokunaga – 13 Monotonousness

Yosuke Tokunaga – 13 Monotonousness

10.7.20 by Matty McPherson

For the past month, I’ve been taking Yosuke Tokunaga’s 13 Monotonousness out on spins (around the tape deck), asking myself questions like “When will the terrorists lose and the skies turn blue?” as well as “Just what in the hell is ‘monotonousness’ and why thirteen of them?” Everyone knows 13 is arguably the scariest number of all time, and that “a tiresome lack of variety” (the definition of monotonousness by the way) is more loathsome than an energy vampire. 

I suppose Tokunaga has questions like that on the daily as well because even if his tape lacks concrete words, his ambient spaces are akin to brooding while you watch rain drops from the 7th floor, down on an unsuspecting metropolis. The thirteen tracks are segueless abstractions, drifting through their grayscale environments without malice. That does not mean they have their own devious bent. Even if I couldn’t quite put my finger on what Tokunaga is meddling with to create what sounds like warping ice crystals on “Monotono usness”, I was still entrenched at how it evoked memories of brutalist architecture and forgotten artifacts, buried under sunken depths. Or how vocal samples on “Monotonousnes s” practically put me back in Half Life 2’s City 17 or the desolate glow of ODST’s New Mombasa. This is city music for the isolated dweller, released on the cusp of a pandemic.

It should not come as a surprise, as it fits like a glove alongside AVA’s (Audio. Visual. Atmosphere.) rogue’s gallery of contemporary releases. Yet, its feverous and dreamy qualities let it slip easier into noise paralysis or echo chamber melodies that’d turn a new age store into a dystopia. The kinds of environments where a synth burst can take the form of a hallucination of a bird. It may not release your tension, but it can sure help you find solace within it.

C42, Edition of 55.

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