Tujiko Noriko Make Me Hard

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The title may sound like an Andrew WK single, but nothing could be further from the truth: Tujiko Noriko's Make Me Hard, the Japanese musician's second full-length for Vienna's arch-eclecticists Mego, isn't about partying, or machismo, or even riot-grrlishness. If anything, it's hard to put a make on Noriko because she's so damned slippery, hiding behind a quavering, Bjork-like voice and tossing up crunching drum machines, hollow-bodied keyboards and mellow pop melodies like so many decoys. Demure, given to drift, and glancingly oblique and transparent by turns, Make Me Hard offers a fascinating, alien world in which to get lost. The only thing truly difficult is extracting yourself again.