Makunouchi Bento – Let’s go for a Swimé.
Makunouchi Bento is Felix Petrescu (a/k/a Waka X) and Valentin Toma (a/k/a Qewza). I’ve seen this Romanian duo’s music described (by themselves and/or others) as experimental, electronica, soundscapes, ambient, IDM, and/or cinematic. Pick your favorite; I’ll just describe it as excellent! Specifically today I want to talk about “Swimé.”
I first heard of this band when they were tipped by on the emusers site (see Links page) in early 2011. “Swimé” was something MB released in 2010 and it’s one of the most interesting things I’ve heard over the last couple years. Believe it or not, the cover art does a fairly good job of describing the music:
But I can’t let it go at that! The sound is a dense mix of natural and electronic sounds. At various times you hear many things including water, percussion, accordion, piano, and electronics. But there is much more to it than individual instruments and noises. To me it overall feels like what it might be like taking a boat trip through a swampy forest, almost as pictured on the cover art. While sometimes it’s somewhat ominous sounding or otherworldly, there is also subtle humor sprinkled in; from some of the song titles (“Cruise for a Corpse” or “Languid Fogfish”) to some of the sounds (Was that a cuckoo clock? Was that a cat?).
So overall it’s a challenging and fun musical collage but, importantly, it’s not so abstract that it cannot be easily enjoyed. Take the plunge, give it a listen, and see where it takes you.
You can download Swimé at this link. I also have a link to the band website on my Links page. Most of the Makunouchi Bento music out there (and there is a lot of it to explore) is free, although they have recently set up a “pay what you want” model. I encourage you to send something their way so they can keep releasing great music!