Singaporean avant-rock collective The Observatory have announced a new collaborative album with Japanese sound artist Koichi Shimizu.
Remotely created by the artists from The Observatory’s home base Black Axis and Shimizu’s native Japan, the eight-track release, entitled ‘DEMON STATE’ is set for release on 23 September.
According to a press release, the album’s origins stem from recordings of an improvisational session between The Observatory and Shimizu, which were later rearranged and developed while he relocated back to his native Japan. These recordings were then incorporated into early versions of songs The Observatory premiered in their “mixed-reality art exhibition”, ‘DEMON STATES’, during the Singapore International Festival of Arts 2021.
The album will be made available on vinyl and digital mediums, and features cover artwork by Indonesian illustrator Enka Komariah. The release will be The Observatory’s first release under the Midnight Shift label. Pre-orders can be made here.
‘DEMON STATE’ is The Observatory’s first release since 2020’s ‘Authority is Alive’, a collaborative album recorded live with Japanese avant-garde artist Keiji Haino during Singapore’s Playfreely Festival 2019. The upcoming full-length will also be their second collaborative album with a Japanese artist in recent years.
In a four-star review of ‘Authority is Alive’, NME’s Azzief Khaliq highlighted the album as “an example of steely-eyed energy and musical alchemy, four musicians pushing each other forward and taking everything that comes out of it in their stride”.
In 2020, The Observatory live-streamed an improvised performance at the now-defunct performing arts space The Substation, as part of Singaporean experimental music series BlackKaji alongside experimental musicians George Chua and sl_owtalk.
The tracklist for The Observatory’s and Koichi Shimizu’s ‘DEMON STATE’ is:
- ‘Demon State’
- ‘Imprisoned Mind’
- ‘Demon State’