Category / album of the month

Is it Jazz? How many times can one ask that question. What exactly constitutes Jazz? Genji Sawai’s Sowaka stretches this idea limit. Myself, I think it’s exactly what Jazz should be: dangerous, provoking, and exploratory. A fusion of Japanese free-jazz with New York noise-punk shouldn’t work, then, yet again, who could ask for more? On […]

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It’s hard for me to separate Mick’s past from the work you’ll hear in Titles. Still impossibly underrated and unaccounted for — compared to the actual influence he put in motion — there is just something truly unique found in the late Mick Karn’s bass technique, musicality, and ideas. Titles, his first solo work after leaving Japan, […]

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Here’s another worthy album for the canon of Japanese minimalism, Oscilation Circuit’s Série Réflexion 1. Released in 1984, by Sound Process, ostensibly a new part or truncation of Satoshi Ashikawa’s “Wave Notation” series, Série Réflexion 1 perfectly presents another facet of the label’s promotion of minimal music. This time around we get a feel of livelier stuff than any of […]

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Who can argue that an apple falls far from its tree after listening to Demo Tape 1? Demo Tape 1 was a compilation of music curated by Ryuichi Sakamoto and Akito Yano for their Midi Inc. label. The premise was simple: ask anyone who tuned in to Ryuichi’s ongoing NHK radio program “Sound Street” to send a […]

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/ January 26, 2018 / Comments Off on Yoko Ueno: Voices (1993)

Yoko Ueno: Voices (1993)

What a perfect image. Even William Blake must be blushing at Masumi Hara’s otherworldly portrait for Yoko Ueno’s Voices. Feminine angels (bearing more than just their souls), perfectly trapezing on man-made wires, as ever darkening skies, grow ever more, endlessly, on some barren land. Mystical and philosophical, through one image Yoko Ueno’s Voices had its […]

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/ January 23, 2018 / Comments Off on Chinatsu Kuzuu: The City In The Sea (1991)

Chinatsu Kuzuu: The City In The Sea (1991)

My mind races trying to describe Chinatsu Kuzuu’s music. Should I share with y’all my first impressions? First, I hear the voice of June Tambor as transferred to a young woman (around her age) in Tokyo. Then, I hear the Gaelic fantasy music of Horslips, mutated through the introduction of digital polysynths, drum machines, and […]

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I hate to say it but Osaka guitar duo Gontiti (pronounced Gon-Chi-Chi) really nailed it when they called themselves the creators of “The Most Comfortable Music On Earth”. You see, I first encountered the music of Gontiti in the most unlikeliest of likeliest places. On some fateful day, I was with my partner at a […]

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It is with great joy that I’ve decided to share Killing Time’s Irene. Undoubtedly one of the toughest groups to describe on this hear blog, Killing Time hovers among so many styles and moods that to render them one thing or another would miss the point of their existence. Irene, though, in 1988, perfectly placed […]

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/ December 22, 2017 / Comments Off on Yoshio Ojima: Une Collection Des Chainons II: Music For Spiral (1988)

Yoshio Ojima: Une Collection Des Chainons II: Music For Spiral (1988)

When I originally wrote my piece on Yoshio Ojima’s groundbreaking work Une Collection des Chainons I, I couldn’t think of why omitted the second part of his story. Une Collection des Chainons II truly cements what a monumental piece of music (Une Collection des Chainons I&II) for the Wacoal Art Center was. Trying to move […]

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/ December 19, 2017 / Comments Off on Nara Leao: Dez Anos Depois (1971)

Nara Leao: Dez Anos Depois (1971)

Sometime, in the winter of 1971, a young Nara Leao is being besieged by certain elements. Walking through streets and bridges with fellow Carioca photographer Nei Sroulevich, not far from her home, by the river, they are not disturbed by the cold or the snowfall. Enjoying a bit of freedom and space provided by nature, now, Nei realizes, […]

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