steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Masaya Sasaki

"Picnic Plan" EP

-N netlabel

Genre: experimental electronic, ambient, glitch

June 2006

-N, pronounced "minusn," is a Japan-based mp3 label specializing in experimental electronic music. All of their releases are available in full, free of charge, on their website, and one of their records (to be reviewed on indieville soon!) won a Qwartz electronic music award recently. In short, why aren't you at their website already?

Masaya Sasaki's Picnic Plan EP is the eight release so far for this netlabel, and it brings on the type of sparse, heavily experimental electronic soundscape music you might expect. The EP starts with "meron," which pits a Fennesz-like electronic blip clatter underneath a restlessly seething dialtone. "vacillate," which follows, throws us a curveball because it's an entirely different sonic texture - where spasmodic inconsistency was the case in the first piece, chiming, relatively constant tone is on tap here. "panic_plan" then hits us with a brooding, vibrating base followed by ambience and gradually increasing noise. Beautifully melodic "motion8" closes the disc out in more familiar territory, with a discernible rhythm and mesmerizing tunefulness making it the most accessible and instantly likable piece of music on here.

Picnic Plan is an excellent experimental electronic EP; it's likely the most immediately enjoyable record of its kind I've come across since Fennesz's Endless Summer. And best of all: for the price of nothing, it can be yours. Get your ass down to the -N website and hear what you've been missing; I'm not urging you, I'm giving you an order.

MP3s all available at


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 4 tracks, 25:05 duration, distributed free online by the label, released 2006]