Yukiko Chiba is missing and not been seen since this 2004 release. I contacted her label, FatCat Records, to see if they had any news and they told me that after speaking with her between 2000 and this release in 2004, lines of communication simply evaporated.
WW hope she is safe and well and, like with many artists featured on this site or involved in similar music, she has returned to her reclusive self. Selfishly, however, we pray she returns with more material.
Moco is her first and only release we could find (apart from a single track, no watches. No maps, that featured on a 2001 FatCat compilation of unreleased artists). It’s a mini-album of 8-tracks constructed using abstract noises, field recordings and samples mixed with simple, stripped back tunes of varying complexity, played on a variety of traditional and makeshift instruments.
The opening track Chips, is a gentle introduction to the album and feels the most structured in terms of musicality. The samples and field recordings, however, hint at what is to come on the rest of the album as strange creaks, conversations and machinery are threaded through.
S continues the theme but slowly descends into more abstraction as the ‘tune’ becomes more fragmented and less coherent.
By the time we get to +, any melody has evaporated and replaced with a rhythmic mix of short human breaths and soft otherworldly calls to help keep us on the ‘straight-and-narrow’.
+ segue-ways into ((0)) but, after a minute or so, the piano returns to hold our hand again as we skip through a Chib’s child-like world, across couple more landscapes to the light at the end of 500.
But, just before she lets you go, Chib invites that you ‘come back to hers’ and listen to her take on lounge-jazz until the sun finally reappears.
With further details about the artist proving elusive, here’s a quote I found:
“All music for this album was made with old equipment like a sampler and a sequencer…basically I collect sounds from outside, in the restaurant, houses of friends, parks, or from anything in my room. Then I choose some sounds from them, and put the sounds on to the air space like painting pictures…I learned how to play the piano for ten years. I quit because lessons weren’t so much fun. I often get visions of music before falling into a sleep…”