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Will the Real Japancakes please stand up?
After three previous full length albums and two EP's, Athens' Japancakes have finally reached their musical destination. Marrying their improvisational songwriting/recording techniques with the ideal group of musicians, "Waking Hours" is the most streamlined manifestion of their earlier compositional style.
We now find Eric Berg (guitar), Nick Bielli (bass), Heather McIntosh (cello, keyboards), John Neff (pedal steel), and Brant Rackley (drums) moving as one very complete and musically evolved entity.
Japancakes previous Kindercore releases include their 1999 debut album "If I Could See Dallas" and the subsequent e.p. "Down The Elements" followed by "The Sleepy Strange" in 2001. These were succeeded by the "Belmondo" e.p. on Darla in 2002. While their former work was certainly unique and appealing enough to land them favorable reviews in Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Spin, and a host of other Press organs, "Waking Hours" takes the structure and dynamic content of their singular sound to a new level.
All of the Japancakes releases have been engineered by Athens recording mastermind Andy Baker (Macha, The Mendoza Line, The Glands), and, knowing a good thing when they hear it, Japancakes entrusted "Waking Hours" to him as well. Baker expertly brings out the dreamy/intense quality of their music revealing similarities to Calexico, Tortoise, and even Santo and Johnny at times.
In this new spirit of progress, Japancakes will be releasing "Waking Hours" on Warm Electronic Recordings. To be included among the rest of the Warm roster (Azure Ray, Crooked Fingers, Parker and Lily, etc.) is in itself a testament to their artistic growth.
Japancakes have at last, through their hallmark of near-monomaniacal melodic repetition transformed themselves into something greater than the sum of their parts. The real Japancakes perhaps?
click here for Japancakes MySpace page