I've been listening to Mico's music almost nonstop recently, and I feel I should share it here, because seems she's not really well known at all, even though she deserves to be...
I first came across her Apache 61 drum'n'bass project on the "Female of the Species" comp from 1999. Apache 61 is artsy, jittery kind of drum'n'bass, kinda like Squarepusher, but without the worst drill'n'bass excesses. You can listen to couple of those tracks on the Apache 61's [https://myspace.com/apache61/music/songs]Myspace[/url].
Then later on in the 00s she resurfaced, under the Mico name, on Monika's "4 Women No Cry" comp, with 3 excellent tracks of freaky, bass-heavy experimental electro. Here's one of them:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7JKFCxD7BM
But at the same time she was also working with David Howe (of Touch & Go fame, he's the guy behind "Would You...?") on his Dreamcatcher project, they released an album in 2006 that's very different from her solo material, it's dreamy new age dance pop or something, still very good:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDAtAj4iyCI
Her own solo album from the same year has a few of the same songs as the Dreamcatcher album, but the sound is more electronic, though still poppier than her earlier music:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BeUofw8kuQo
― Tuomas, Monday, 19 January 2015 20:14 (four years ago) link
Her next solo album came out in 2012, and it has more trad instruments like strings, though the compositions are still quite adventurous:
I read somewhere that she's also composed several anime soundtracks, which I guess would explain the cinematic sound on many of her tunes, though I have no idea which animes she's actually worked for.
― Tuomas, Monday, 19 January 2015 20:17 (four years ago) link
And before Apache 61 she was in a group called Mekong Zoo, which released one album in 1995... That one's also quite good, an odd mixture of ambient and jazz and moodz:
― Tuomas, Monday, 19 January 2015 23:06 (four years ago) link
Bump. Still loving her music, still sad that I seem to be the only one who does.
― Tuomas, Tuesday, 24 November 2015 10:51 (three years ago) link
friend of mine shared some of this guy's stuff with me today. seriously blowing me away.
― circa1916, Friday, 12 February 2016 17:51 (three years ago) link
oh! did not realize Mieko Shimizu was a woman. sry.
― circa1916, Friday, 12 February 2016 17:52 (three years ago) link
― circa1916, Friday, 12 February 2016 17:53 (three years ago) link
ok Yasuaki Shimizu and Mieko Shimiz are different people, i have had too much coffee today
― circa1916, Friday, 12 February 2016 17:57 (three years ago) link
Yes, I think Mieko Shimizu is his daughter? But I've liked the Yasuaki stuff that I've heard too, his saxophone versions of Bach's cello suites are pretty dope.
― Tuomas, Friday, 12 February 2016 18:01 (three years ago) link
Though I have to say I don't much like that synth pop stuff he's done, I've tried to listen to it over Youtube a few times, but it's just too corny-sounding to me.
― Tuomas, Friday, 12 February 2016 18:08 (three years ago) link
I'm not sure whether Mieko is Yasuaki's daughter, but I've always assumed so because she has some writing credits on his albums, like this one:
― Tuomas, Friday, 12 February 2016 18:36 (three years ago) link
Here's some jazzier stuff by Yasuaki & the Saxophonettes, it's really dope! The whole Pentatonica album is well worth checking out if you're into this kind of sax sound.
― Tuomas, Friday, 12 February 2016 18:40 (three years ago) link
I eventually found out that Mieko Shmizu is not Yasuaki's daughter but his sister. I also acquired that "Aduna" album I linked to above, and it's quite fun! It's kinda of a Japanese version of those 80s "world beat" fusion albums, like Mandingo or Herbie Hancock's "Sound-System". So you have Wasis Diop from Senegal playing the guitar and singing some folksy vocals, Yasuaki bringing in a Japanese/jazz flavour with his sax and keyboards and rather gruff voice, Mieko adding some pop flavour with her singing, etc. Really a bit of a weird mess, but quite enjoyable! And it has the best cover of Harry Belafonte's "Banana Boat Song" that I've ever come across, almost on par with the original.
― Tuomas, Monday, 22 February 2016 19:23 (three years ago) link
Here's a video/clip of "Come Tomorrow" from it, it's about as odd as the entire album!
― Tuomas, Monday, 22 February 2016 19:26 (three years ago) link
According to her Facebook page she has a new album out this spring after a 6 year break, I'm really looking forward to it, since both Phenomena of the Mind and My Tentacles were quite good.
― Tuomas, Monday, 11 February 2019 14:10 (six months ago) link
Dunno what happened to the links uphtread, but here's a couple of videos from those two albums:
― Tuomas, Monday, 11 February 2019 14:12 (six months ago) link
And here's some Apache 61:
― Tuomas, Monday, 11 February 2019 14:22 (six months ago) link
Oh, that's weird, I couldn't see the YouTube links upthread on the computer, but I can see them now on my tablet. Sorry about posting them twice!
― Tuomas, Monday, 11 February 2019 14:56 (six months ago) link