When Yamaneko emerged in the mid-2010s his updated take on grime already contained a notable amount of space. However, in the years since he has retreated even further into the ether, with his previous LP, 2017’s Spa Commissions, eschewing road sounds for a set of keening new-age ambiences.
On his new full-length Spirals Heaven Wide we find Yamaneko anchoring himself in this sound once again. This is a largely beatless affair, one where electronic textures drift over one another in ethereal suspension. The vaguely fourth-world flavour of Spa Commissions is carried over at points - ‘Hikikomori’, for instance, rustles with pianos in a manner that obliquely recalls everyone from Pablo’s Eye to Brian Eno.
While there may not be much in the way of rhythm, Yamaneko doesn’t wholly jettison his dancefloor past here. The synth tones used throughout draw on a variety of rave styles - hardcore, trance, Eski - and there are also points where Spirals Heaven Wide veers close to a sort of wide eyed version of IDM. The sombre vibe of ‘Haunts’ also has plenty of Mr. Mitch’s weightless grime aesthetic to it. This all comes to a head on ‘Fall Control’, the only obvious club track here and a last-dance number pitched between Lorenzo Senni and Last Japan.
Yamaneko continues to explore ambient pastures with new LP Spirals Heaven Wide.