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Improvisational drone-pop orchestra Japancakes was the brainchild of Athens, GA-based musician Eric Berg, who in 1997 had the idea of organizing a group of ten musicians to take the stage without any previous rehearsals all for the sake of playing a single "D" chord for 45 minutes. Fascinated by the subtle changes and imperfections which textured the performance, Berg began mounting other experiments within a similar conceptual framework; although the onstage lineup often expanded to as many as a dozen instrumentalists, other constants included Nick Bielli, Todd Kelly, Heather McIntosh, John Neff, and Scott Sosebee. The debut Japancakes album, If I Could See Dallas, followed on Kindercore in the autumn of 1999; an EP, Down the Elements, appeared in the spring, and the sophomore effort Sleepy Strange was issued in early 2001. Darla relased Belmondo the following year, and Waking Hours arrived two years later on the Warm imprint. Japancakes switched back to Darla for their two 2007 albums, a cover of My Bloody Valentine's classic album Loveless and an album of original material, Giving Machines, which both arrived that fall.