Kiku by Oppressed by the Line reviewed by Textura

Textura review Kiku by Oppressed by the Line.
In addition to its electronic and shoegaze pop dimensions, there’s also a synth-heavy “robot music” quality to Thompson’s music but such a label can err in underacknowledging the personality and warmth that humanizes the Oppressed By The Line sound.

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The Silent Ballet on “Oppressed by the Line – Kiku”

The Silent Ballet post their thoughts on the newest Oppressed by the Line record, “Kiku”.
A fictional account of an album’s creation:

The artist sits silently among stacks of novella and memorabilia in a silent room. Very little light is present in the room save that given off by a few weak bulbs placed in corners. His movements are slow and careful as he reaches for a knob half hidden underneath a sheaf of papers. Suddenly the room seems to come alive in spite of itself: life despite dust. A chorus of dulcimers dance atop liquid xylophone strikes. The artist manipulates another creaky knob and the addictive introduction begins filling with other sounds like an opened dam. Moved by his own creation of dub drums and Utopian organs, he begins repeating a mantra into an echo chamber repeatedly, “Do you know how far I’ve come to be with you? Clarity escapes me.” The layering of elements is so pleasant it is repeated several times; the artist can’t help being pleased with its beauty.

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Kiku gets props from Coast is Clear

Kiku gets props from a German indie-pop blog, Coast is Clear.  The translation below is terrible, and doesn’t really make much sense.  Also, while I’m good friends with Ben and Rob from Epic 45, they didn’t actually have anything to do with the production of this record.  If that’s even what it’s saying….?  A proper translation would be welcome, any volunteers?:
[begin awful auto-translation]
Jon Thompson from Texas has a very obvious penchant for light, floating arrangements, sound landscapes, both ambient as well as comforting Shoegazefreunden showers on the back should be chasing. The project has its Oppressed by the Line with skin and hair prescribed. On AC30 appeared a while ago his debut EP “The cause of the color” and the “soft focus” followed, from the 2nd June, the new album “Kiku” on the shelves (produced by people from the Epic45 environment) and waits for listeners who like to leave this Dreampopgefilde away. And who would not?
[end awful auto-translation]

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“Oppressed by the Line – Kiku” is this music?

Is this music ponders the influence of travel on music while reviewing the newest Oppressed by the Line disc:
This is an interesting one. Before I started reviewing music, I didn’t realise the full extent of travelling on music. I’ve since reviewed some CDs based on the premise of journeying, this time through Japan. I immediately think of ‘Lost In Translation’ (ergot, Scarlett Johansson, so thanks!), of Tokyo landscapes, train journeys past rice fields and other stuff and I think I’m in the right territory.

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Oppressed by the Line’s Kiku reviewed by Albatross_2/

This review will apear in the Greek language publication, but you can read the English language version @ Albatross_2:
As I read in the press release Thompson inspired Kiku by lovely sunsets, mountainous landscapes and city lights while on holiday in Japan. His experience in the Land of the Rising Sun is depicted in the opener Mountain Mist where a subtle Taiko drum beat and colorful xylophone ringings give way to warm organic melodies and glitchy sound effects. Sunset from the 16th Floor is a two minute instrumental piece of blissed-out ambience that nicely unrolls the carpet for the pop gem that is Paper Cranes. Displaying a nostalgic summery feeling Paper Cranes shines and sparkles with its joyful harmonies and a catchy chorus before ending up into a haze of swirling guitars. Imagine Field Mice meeting My Bloody Valentine, this track is dangerously infectious. Elsewhere Thompson’s echoed vocals add a spacey feel to the Shoegaze-laden synths of One Thousands Red Stars while the up tempo beats and textured electronic noises of Shinkansen find him venturing into dance territory.

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Oppressed by the Line’s Kiku reviewed by Leonard’s Lair

In the first review of the new Oppressed by the Line, Leonard’s Lair had some kind words to say about the disc.
Fresh from last year’s well-received ‘Soft Focus’ album, Oppressed By The Line (or Jon Thompson to give him his real name) has wasted little time in releasing the follow-up as well as managing his own Drifting Falling label. For his latest venture, Thompson used an excursion to Japan as the inspiration for the songs. ‘Kiku’ is the result and it’s a nocturnal delight expressed via the medium of shoegaze and electronica.

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Video, Track Previews, Store Updates & Pre-orders!!

We’ve updated the Drifting Falling Store to include the pre-order of two forth coming releases that we’re very excited about.
Gareth Dickson – Collected Recordings
Oppressed by the Line – Kiku

We’ve also been quietly adding track previews to the store. There are still a couple of albums left to do, but we’ve made huge progress, so check out the store, have a listen, and get stuck in.

Finally, to wet your appetite, check the a video for Shinkansen (track 5) from the forthcoming Oppressed by the Line disc below:

Label Focus at

Drifting Falling label head Jonathan Thompson talks to You can read the English language version here.

melancholic, sad for moments but most of all comforting

Posted by on Jan 28, 2009 in oppressed by the line, review | No Comments
Chaotisch und Charmant had some very nice things to say about Oppressed by the Line’s latest output Soft Focus
touching tunes blending shoegaze, electronica, melancholic crystal guitars and amazing textures. among his influences are the magnetic fields, the cure, ride and vitesse…
‘soft focus’ is his second album and is full of delicate (yet powerfull) sounds.
in songs like the opening track ‘condensation’, ‘don’t bestow the lesser things’ and ‘solitude’ we also hear the (moving) vocals and feel that jon’s creativity can also be applied to his vocal skills and the ability to create another layer to his music. ‘i can’t remember the sound’ and ‘shattering glass houses’ are the most shoegazy tracks filled with layers of electronica merging with walls of (beautifully played) guitars.
at moments – specially in the beautiful ‘the stars are sleeping’ it feels like you’re inside a cave full of stalactites and stalagmites… actually most of the time, and the feeling is very comforting. melancholic, sad for moments but most of all comforting.

Kind words for Vacant Passages

Jonathan over at Leonard’s Lair had some nice things to say about Volume One in the Vacant Passages series.
‘Vacant Passages’ is a new four-part series created by Texan Jon Thompson for his Drifting Falling label. When all the parts are complete, the CD covers will form a picture of, what appears to be, a large vacant passage. Yet is the music a void, bereft of importance or feeling? Quite the opposite in fact. Across a quartet of tracks, the artists involved sit comfortably alongside each other; each crafting their own individual sounds.

Thompson’s own Oppressed By The Line outlet begins proceedings with ‘Oceanic’ and offers suitably grand gestures on this almost hymnal track. I particularly appreciate the way Thompson layers his own voice at various pitches to add soothing textures to his always melodic music. Continuing the dreampop theme but taking it to a narcotic level is The Air Alone whose ‘I Wish I Could Dream Of Spacemen’ emits a languid glow. Mole Harness is a relatively old hand now in layering acoustic and electronic instuments. Once again, he impresses with the twinkling atmospheres of ‘Meet By The River’. Then the EP ends with a slice of Scottish folk courtesy of My Kappa Roots, who effortlessly evoke warmth and nostalgia.

Despite the different styles contained within Volume One of the series, there is a common theme of unrushed, melancholic sounds at its core. The quality contained within certainly augurs well for the next three episodes.