Ai Aso - Lone (4 stars)

Ai Aso - Lone

Warm and inviting live set of psychedelic pop hypnosis

(Ideologic Organ)

A gorgeous set of psychedelic pop hypnosis from Ai Aso, Lone sees her strip back the psych-rock of previous collaborations with lynchpins of the Japanese underground like Michio Kurihara of Ghost, and Wata and Michio from Boris, to focus on the core elements of Aso’s delicate voice and fragile, enchanting songs.

Recorded live in Tokyo before a small audience, Lone is an intimate affair, with Aso accompanying herself on spare electric guitar and Casio keyboard. There’s a great deal of space in this music: Aso’s naive guitar style trades in single notes rather than fully articulated chords, creating an unhurried, pensive framework on which to drape her beautiful wisp of a voice, which is close-recorded for maximum heart-stopping effect. Thanks to the beauty of her melodies, Lone sounds warm and inviting, rather than coldly austere, even when she deploys the sad and lonely tones of a cheap Casio keyboard.

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