Emusers' Guide to Makunouchi Bento

edited November 2015 in Electronic
These guys deserves their very own thread:

In 2001, Felix Petrescu (Waka X) and Valentin Toma (Qewza) set the foundation for the Makunouchi Bento experimental project (“lunchbox”, in Japanese). While one of them is strongly influenced by IDM, the other one has a fetish for primitive computing – spectrum, c64, amiga, atari. Their lunchbox can hold all musical styles and genres and every possible experiment or cliché. With or without rhythm, with or without noise, the guys from Makunouchi Bento process organic sound until it surprises. They transplant old and catchy cliches into exotic contexts. Their focus of their music is on how different elements follow one another to sustain a party to its peak. Repetition is key, and syncopated beats are there to back that up. Waka X and Qewza are also the founders of one of the first electronic festival in Romania, TM Base, that reached it’s 10th edition this year. They’ve been releasing since 2002, on several netlabels and you can find and download their music for free, on the internet, with a Creative Commons license
- Source

Starting with their latest release:

Eerik Inpuj Sound / Bandcamp 2010.
Swimé is another quiet but intriguing work from this duo who, like others of their generation (e.g. Gultskra Artikler), have gotten so free that they’ve just left any easy pigeon-holing (“IDM”, “neo-classical”, or elsesuch) far behind. To anyone with a passing knowledge of the netlabel scene, they’ve also been among the most prolific Romanian acts to follow, and I should say that this new blend of semi-improvised soundscaping carries itself with a deeply cohesive “wholeness” along the path.
Admittedly, there is not a lot of urgency to these tracks, and the sense of “presence”, even at its most acute, can be purposely distorted, but it’s precisely these kind of instances that vie for your focus and create a nice tension throughout; a tension which – more often than not – is flirted with, rather than underlined and made blatantly obvious. It’s all never in one place for long, yet moves around with hardly any sonic grit; it stands on its own as an evocation of some possible realities of the as of yet… which only the titles may try to elucidate (or maybe the accompanying poem telling a lion tamer’s story, who’d suddenly gotten bored of it all?)
(Doru649 @ The Cookshop)
- Source.


  • edited January 2011
    Thanks BT, - Will look into that.

    - Free Music Archive, March 25th, 2008.

    A tribute to B Movies & VHS exclusives.
    Very few people knew the fact that Makunouchi Bento have scored one of the most obscure imaginary movies in the history of VHS exclusives: Millano Brothers IV. The magnetic tapes (thought to be permanently lost) were accidentaly found by one of the guys’ grandmother in an old macaroni box in her attic, and are now brought to your attention. Out of the 10 hours of original material, we’ve selected 3 songs, marking 3 important moments in the movie.
  • edited January 2011
    Free Music Archive - March 23rd, 2006.
  • Thank you for doing this Brighternow; I agree, they do deserve their own thread.
  • edited January 2011
    Oh boy, Oh boy !

  • @Bad Thoughts: Those plugins look interesting. In particular I want to try the radio Gloria.
  • edited January 2011
    [arh008] Makunouchi Bento - Balada unui creier mic EP

    [Cam088] Makunouchi Bento - Lament of the fishing robot EP

    [mia042] Makunouchi Bento - Bouche Du Metro EP

    [arh023] makunouchi bento - avebell

    [arh031] Makunouchi Bento - Return to Avebell

    [one020] Makunouchi Bento - Trcutu

    [one013] Makunouchi Bento - Vitoru

    [kpu046] Leenak and Makunouchi Bento - Miopedi

    [one04] Leenak & Makunouchi Bento - Miopedi : Errata

    [Camix01] Makunouchi Bento - Live @ Music workshop 2006

    [od068] Makunouchi Bento - Live at TM04BASE
  • edited January 2011
    "Makunouchi Bento Still looking for gigs in 2011, squeezing a bit more out of Swim
  • Hi higaru, are you connected in some way to Makunouchi Bento? Swime is really quite a hit among our little group here, thanks for stopping by!
  • edited January 2011
    hello amclark and hello folks !
    yep - i'm Felix Petrescu ( waka x ) from Makunouchi Bento !:)
    we discovered this page in bandcamp statistics and we got very excited.
    it's really good to have real feedback ! ( now when everything is free ... )
    thanks for this page - it made our day :)
    we will start our next album in february and we want it released ( i hope free again ) till the end of the year.
    until then - we can chat here and
    you have plenty of music from us to discover in the archive.org links ( also search for "makunouchi bento" there ) !
    and yes - as i wrote - we are still looking for gigs in 2011 so if anyone can help - will be apreciated.
    also we are looking for video artists / illustrators to colab with.

    ps. if you want to see our best (fancy-schmansy) photos so far:

    + my personal twitter account ( i post about free music / music software / short animations / etc )
    + my flickr account:
  • edited January 2011
    something for the weekend :)
    Makunouchi Bento retrospective mix
    As heard on AnonimTM radio (22.09.2009) - a trip through our very old or/and (yet) unreleased songs!


    01 Intro*
    02 Makunouchi Bento - Hotdog Bless Me [Makunouchi Bento - Himette LP (2001)]
    03 Makunouchi Bento - Snow Me [Makunouchi Bento - Himette LP 2001 / Unreleased (199]
    04 Makunouchi Bento - Path Home [Makunouchi Bento - Himette LP 2001 / Unreleased (199]
    05 Makunouchi Bento - Perla du Brazil [VA - Fishing for Complements (2002)]
    06 Makunouchi Bento - Micat [Unreleased (2002) / Edited and released as Makunouchi Bento - Micat (Live at TM02Base) (2002)]
    07 Adapt - Children of Moog (MaBento Vacuum Mix) [Adapt - Children of Moog (MaBento Vacuum Mix) Single (2002)]
    08 Makunouchi Bento feat. Antti Korpela - Gen16 [Unreleased (2001)]
    09 Makunouchi Bento feat. Nagz - Morninfizik (Remix) [Makunouchi Bento - Morninfizik (Remix) Single (2004) / Unreleased (2000)]
    10 Makunouchi Bento - Patchouli [Makunouchi Bento - Himette EP (2001) / Unreleased (2000)]
    11 Makunouchi Bento - Peen [Makunouchi Bento - Himette EP (2001) / Unreleased (1999)]
    12 Makunouchi Bento - Pink Ninja 6 (Amiga Version) [VA - Otaku Play (2009)]
    13 Makunouchi Bento - Pink Ninja 5 (Tao Remix) [Unreleased (2005)]
    14 Makunouchi Bento - Pink Ninja 5 [Makunouchi Bento - Himette LP (2001)]
    15 Makunouchi Bento - Milipong [VA - 101 (2004) / Unreleased (2001)]
    16 Makunouchi Bento - Mr. Higaru's Love Nest [Makunouchi Bento - Himette LP (2001)]
    17 Adapt - Crisp (Q's Qrocantmix) [RIDMA - Pixelparket EP (2001)]
    18 Makunouchi Bento - Mr. Higaru's Love Nest [Makunouchi Bento - Himette LP (2001)]
    19 Makunouchi Bento - Mikrotori [Makunouchi Bento - Himette LP/EP (2001)]
    20 Adapt - Crisp (MaBento Vacuum Mix) [RIDMA - Pixelparket EP (2001)]
    21 Makunouchi Bento - Deressort [Makunouchi Bento - Himette LP (2001)]
    22 Makunouchi Bento - Ninja Moves [Makunouchi Bento - Himette LP (2001) / Unreleased live improv (1998?)]
    23 Makunouchi Bento - Sub sol [Makunouchi Bento - Himette LP (2001)]
    24 Makunouchi Bento - Computer Boy Machine [RIDMA - Pixelparket EP (2001)]
    25 Makunouchi Bento - Rhybot Ipop [Unreleased (2005)]
    26 Makunouchi Bento feat. Selfmademusic - Nukekubi [Unreleased (2005)]
    27 Makunouchi Bento feat. Selfmademusic - Visul lui Paslui [Unreleased (2009)]
    28 Outro*

    * Samples from "Waiting for Godot" ( http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0276613/ )

    DOWNLOAD here: (87 mb)

    i also did an illustration for this mix:
  • edited March 2011
    Hi Felix !
    Welcome. . .

    Music does indeed travel fast these days. M. B. came to my attention by reading Vincent Fug
  • Sorina Vasilescu ( Vazelina )'s blog - she did the artwork for Swime:
  • Welcome Felix! Glad our little group of music nerds could make your day. Your music has been making ours for the last couple of months since Brighternow introduced us to you.

  • Thanks Craig !
    Feedback and help ( even for older releases ) and reviews are still welcome.
  • I like his work - great exploration of sound without cliche drones or even overdone field recordings. But a sticky? There must be some passionate, seriously dedicated fans (or at least one with editorial control) here.
  • I wonder about the same thing. Great thread, interesting music, but should one artist be "stickier" than others in terms of board structure?
  • I stuck it temporarily because there's considerable interest here. I'm planning to replace it with an "emusers' guides" that would link to these artist or label-centric threads.
  • OK, makes sense.
  • edited October 2016
    Makunouchi Bento - Trcutu - [one020] (July 4, 2005)
    This offering from Makunouchi Bento is a special one indeed - interpretation of and sound excursion into a few of their favorite classical compositions by such powerful and original composers as Erik Satie, Anton Arensky, Maurice Ravel., they hold nothing back while adapting them within the Mabento realm.

    With its twists of melancholy, nostalgia, and even childlike amusement - Trcutu manages to hold onto a genuine historical and aesthetic interest found within some of the originals. At times picking up the melodies and running them through the spontaneity and textural styles of their own; while at others working not just from the originals but the influence and atmosphere felt by listening to them. Cover artwork by Guillaume Richard (kaneel). Gallery by Adrian Leverkuhn and Katharine Mahalic.
    - Excellent !
  • edited November 2012
    Moving abit away from the sunscaped music, we stop by the romanian city Timisoara .. where we find 2 romanian cinematics called Felix Petrescu & Valentin Toma working under their alias Makunouchi Bento. with help from Stephanie Courant & Dan Damian they put together this magical, fimatic EP .. filled with french talking and slow downtempo beats.... mmm .. and now for a nap. . .
  • @Dr. Mutex - take a look at the beginner's guide I just created. Maybe 2 guides up top would be useful - one for general threads and one for artist and label guides.
  • makunouchibento.jpg
    Makunouchi Bento live at Easterndaze Night Košice (27/11/2010)

    "The Romanian project makes soundtracks to non-existing films. Journey through opulent sonic landscapes is intricate, adventurous and playful."
    - Yeah !
  • edited February 2011

    exclusive (unreleased ) new track:
    makunouchi bento - Avebell Blues

    also downloadable for EMusers here:

    feedback appreciated.
  • edited January 2013
    Hi Felix,
    Thanks. This is a great track, but can hardly stand alone as a single track. However, put into context with the other Avebell releases, it works perfectly:

    Makunouchi Bento - Avebell
    Dark copper bells, giant stone trees.
    Sad birds looking in the lake to peck their distorted images.
    Hairy grey grass growing fast on the inside.
    And every senior ghost has its own bell.
    There is not night or day - just fog from swamps.
    There are no clouds, just slimy paper made zeppelins.
    Thoughts and dreams are slashing each other to death.
    Romans and greeks are the only citizens left.
    And two venetian old fools.
    They all look translucent like projected
    by a huge Merkur portable projector (35mm - 1922).

    Soldiers with led boots marching indefinitely,
    Do not reach the battlefield ! There is Avebell.
    - I'm totally in love with the "two mechanical snowghosts" track.

    Makunouchi Bento - Return to Avebell (EP)
    "You are also caught with the fact that man is a creature who walks in two worlds and traces upon the walls of his cave the wonders and the nightmare experiences of his spiritual pilgrimage."
    - Morris West
  • edited February 2011
    thanks Brighternow for adding the two Avebell EPs because the new song is indeed from Avebell universe :)
    maybe ( when more avebell-ish songs are finished ) we will release 3rd part of Avebell EPs.
    but i'm anxious to share so ... :)
  • edited February 2011
    Thanks, much appreciated. . . :-)

    Felix, do you know what happened to the DigitalBiotope netlabel ?
    - I've been trying to track down Like A Monkey Without the Cuckoo Clock

    - The label link is dead and I can't find it @ The Archive.
  • @higaru, I agree with Brighternow. My first reaction was that the track sounds like an interlude in the middle of an album, between something else. Interesting sounds and textures - thanks for sharing.
  • edited February 2011
    DigitalBiotope netlabel seems down :(
    i will upload that colab ep soon somewhere.
    still hope that DigitalBiotope will be up again ...

    that EP is madness :) acoustic exorcism. i'd label it as "free jazz" but is smth quite hard to experience twice :)
    still interesting if you want to hear us destroying an old piano or doing turkey sounds :)))
  • Heh ! , okay. Can't wait. . .
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