The recurrence of Bandcamp Friday means yet another slew of releases, which is unequivocally a wonderful thing. But I hate schedules and structure – we’re musicians, not accountants! – so let’s just leave this week with one gentle gem.

The ever-international, ever off-center label Syrphe from Cedrik Fermont focuses on “experimental, electronic, noise music from Asia and Africa.” And yes, even as we come from all over the planet, we do have a tendency to crash land in Berlin, born by the chaotic winds of our modern world, so this is another Berlin-based artist.

Photo of the artist by Marta Manzouli

Kei Watanabe’s music is just the kind of irregular tranquility we need right now. Its ebbing, flowing textures always have a feeling of intense intentionality behind them – organic and free, but nonetheless pulling the music somewhere, not just letting the loops wash over the artist.

Cedrik presumably wrote this text, which, coming from a music journalist and researcher, also eloquently describes it:

Kei Watanabe (Sri Lanka/Japan) performs ghostly mystifying and electrifying improvisations of found instruments, shuffling loops and odd occurrences. A minimal combination of voice, bells, stringed instruments and electric hums.

This first album is a collection of tracks composed between 2017 and 2021 in Colombo and Berlin.
While recording Kei’s sessions in Berlin, we tried to keep her way of working and recording as close as possible from her original style and sound (in Colombo with a cassette recorder, effects and a looper, in Berlin with a computer, looper and some more effects) but without entirely creating a carbon copy of her previous compositions.


Bonus, here’s a quite-nice live set from Sri Lanka:

More on the official artist site:

Have a good weekend, everybody.