Mieko Shimizu is a prolific London based Japanese singer, songwriter, composer and producer, with several diverse and accomplished albums already under her belt.
On new album ‘I Bloom’ she collaborates with William D Drake of The Cardiacs, and previously she worked with Mick Karn of the band Japan, Nitin Sawhney and the London Symphony Orchestra on Japanese silent film ‘Yogoto no Yume’, David Cunningham from The Flying Lizards, Robert Lippok of To Rococo Rot and she re-mixed the likes of Coldcut and Yellow Magic Orchestra, Haruomi Hosono of the cult electro-pop act signed her to his label ‘Daisy World’. Word quickly spread of her incredible live shows bringing a steady stream of appearances as far a field as Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Japan as well Sonar, alongside the mighty Kraftwerk and supporting Massive Attack at their Melt Down with Riz MC, AKA actor Riz Ahmed.
Mieko has also worked extensively with dance including scores for contemporary dance company Phoenix Dance Theatre, the Ballet ‘The Red Balloon’ at the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Theatre and was also made an ‘Emerging Artist in Residence’ at London’s Southbank Centre where she collaborated with the London Philharmonic Orchestra on her own compositions. In her new live shows she will be combining both the ancient and modern with Kieko Kitamura on Koto, a type of Japanese harp, through FX pedals and herself on Moog synthesiser, keyboards and vocals creating a luscious, ethereal live show.
Mieko erupted onto the scene with the searing alter ego Apache 61, fusing layers of cross woven breaks battling shards of sub bass within stateless melodies drawn from the fringes of the avant-garde. Her last album, ‘My Tentacles’ released as ‘Mico’ saw her return to a deeper more reflective state in the cavernous depth of sumptuous symphonic songs that oscillated with glitchy electronica.
Her new album ‘I Bloom’ has taken 5 years to write and nearly didn’t happen when she was admitted to hospital for two life threatening operations and she nearly abandoned her plans to make it but when a junky was moved into the bed next to her and started to terrorise the ward only to be sent to sleep like a baby by an old Scottish lady singing traditional Irish Airs each night that she realised the power of music and resolved to finish her album. What resulted is I Bloom, a quite simply gorgeous record of mini masterpieces, interleaving haunting melodies; with songs that are both beautiful in their sincerity and tantalising in their simplicity. Her unerring elegance and undying passion takes you on a journey from hidden places across emotional landscapes to distant nebulae. Prepare to experience an astonishing work.
Check out the exclusive XS Noize video premiere of ‘Butterfly’ – BELOW: