Saturday, 24 July 2021

Squid ‎– Bright Green Field (2021)

Style: Post Rock, Post Punk, Krautrock
Format: CD, Vinyl, FLAC
Label: Warp Records

01.   Resolution Square
02.   G.S.K.
03.   Narrator
04.   Boy Racers
05.   Paddling
06.   Documentary Filmmaker
07.   2010
08.   The Flyover
09.   Peel St.
10.   Global Groove
11.   Pamphlets

Producer – Daniel Carey

The word “island” is usually synonymous with “paradise”—someplace tropical and warm, skewered by beach umbrellas. We’re less likely to think of Alcatraz. But when English rock band Squid mention a “concrete island” in the first minutes of Bright Green Field, it’s closer to the infamous prison than a Sandals resort. The isle in “G.S.K.” is a dystopian slab ruled by Big Pharma, and the record’s opening scene, as shouted by drummer and vocalist Ollie Judge, confines us to this grim locale: “As the sun sets, on the Glaxo Klein/Well it’s the only way that I can tell the time,” he sings. On this barren rock, the British drug conglomerate is the towering center of daily life—so big, it acts like a sundial. “Island” never sounded so angry or claustrophobic.

Bright Green Field is packed with these moments of compression—lean phrases that steadily inflate into three-dimensional scenes. Driving their expansion are vigorous and detailed arrangements, music that rattles against Judge’s agitated lyrics until it erupts. A sickly undercurrent of strings propels his role as a white-collar drudge on “G.S.K.”; when he embarks on his evening commute, dreaming of the warm dinner that awaits, the music seems to pursue him. The horn section sounds like a fleet of motorbikes trying to run him off of the road.

Squid’s music has always toyed with discomfort. Six years after forming at college in coastal England, Judge, Louis Borlase, Arthur Leadbetter, Laurie Nankivell, and Anton Pearson have pushed that unrest to the point of catharsis. Like Squid’s best singles—last year’s “Sludge,” 2019’s “Houseplants”—the songs on Bright Green Field set out on one course, only to flail in another direction just as you’ve settled in. “Boy Racers” kicks off as a linear groove, its noodling bassline and clipped rhythm guitar among the album’s more pared-back arrangements. Roughly halfway through, the beat drops out, giving way to a bleak, distorted drone. A faint mechanical voice speaks, like Daft Punk with a dead battery: “You’re always small/And there are things that you’ll never know.” It’s unnerving but effective, like the moment in Alien when we discover Ash is really a robot.

Squid approach their music like skilled choreographers; though every move is carefully plotted, the dance maintains the illusion of spontaneity. Each track feels on the verge of some massive release, but all meltdowns are carefully preordained. “Narrator,” the album’s best song, exemplifies the band’s calculated pandemonium. Its opening measures recall early Talking Heads and James Chance: Quick ripples of electric guitar and sharp basslines squiggle on top of a crisp snare beat. But it’s the abandonment of this structure that’s most interesting. At the song’s midpoint, guest vocalist Martha Skye Murphy slowly creeps in, lingering around the edges. As Squid explode into a frenzied coda, Murphy wails her voice raw, shrieking like a slasher-flick victim. It’s the album’s most exhilarating stretch of sound.

Like magpies, Squid stockpile scraps of jazz, funk, krautrock, dub, and punk, uninterested in adopting a single identity. Their genre agnosticism extends to equipment: In addition to drums, bass, and guitar, Bright Green Field’s sense of disorientation is aided by alto saxophone, violin, trumpet, cello, trombone, and rackett—a 16th-century wind instrument also known as the sausage bassoon. (Leadbetter’s father, who specializes in medieval rock and Renaissance instruments, handles sausage bassoon duties on “Boy Racers.”) Even amid all these choices, Squid’s spinouts are orchestrated stunts, never heady jam-band accidents. More than a canonized style, it’s their level of control that sets them apart.

Yet Squid’s characters and the world they inhabit are in constant friction. On “Global Groove,” Judge deadpans about wearing “tight Lycra,” trudging through the day like a weary Zumba instructor. The pace is a narcotized march, nudged along by stabs of guitar and saxophone. The song offers only a few visuals: mindless TV shows, the oppressive titular dance. Is it a wry take on fitness culture, or sheer drudgery? (The two haven’t always been distinct: Treadmills were once instruments of penal discipline.) “Pamphlets” twists another innocuous item into a symbol of suffocating conformity: “Pamphlets through my door/And pamphlets on my floor,” Judge screeches, as though he’s being crushed by the leaflets blasting through his mail slot. Bright Green Field is filled with these imaginative dispatches from capitalist hell, but it’s Squid’s exacting ruckus that exposes their true nature. The field isn’t green with grass, but radioactive sludge.
Madison Bloom / Pitchfork

Thursday, 22 July 2021

DJ Sprinkles ‎– Midtown 120 Blues (2009)

Style: Deep House
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Mule Musiq

01.   Midtown 120 Intro
02.   Midtown 120 Blues
03.   Ball'r (Madonna-Free Zone)
04.   Brenda's $20 Dilemma
05.   House Music Is Controllable Desire You Can Own
06.   Sisters, I Don't Know What This World Is Coming To
07.   Reverse Rotation
08.   Grand Central, Pt. I (Deep Into The Bowel Of House)
09.   Grand Central, Pt. II (72 Hrs. By Rail From Missouri)
10.   The Occasional Feel-Good

Producer, Written-By – T. Thaemlitz

There's a contradiction at the core of Terre Thaemlitz's album as DJ Sprinkles, Midtown 120 Blues, that is difficult to resolve. The album, a treatise on house music, goes lengths to debunk the myth that house music is/was an all-accepting, pan-cultural utopia—that house music is for everyone. She does this, however, while offering up a deep house sound so sumptuous and inviting that it's easy to lose Thaemlitz's socio-political motives: a Trojan horse whose trap-door gets stuck. Midtown 120 Blues is being reissued, in deluxe packaging but with no additional or altered music, after just five years, though the record's scarcity and limited reach justify that decision.

Thaemlitz is best known as an experimental, electro-acoustic composer, and she has released difficult, conceptual works for labels like Mille Plateaux since the mid-90s. (With 2012's Soulnessless, she claimed to have released the longest-ever album, anchored by a 29-hour piano meditation.) In the early '90s, before she was releasing experimental works, Thaemlitz worked as a DJ in the type of midtown clubs that defined Times Square before it was corporatized later in the decade. These formative spaces gave a home to the different strains of house music emanating from New Jersey and New York, a sound more contemplative than that which was coming out of Chicago: slower, jazzier, more reflective. It was music made and then defined by disadvantaged communities: by latinos and blacks and the LGBT community.

Thaemlitz has produced house music under a number of different aliases, but the deconstructivist instincts that dominate her experimental works aren't as dominant here. Midtown 120 Blues travels familiar territory, working through lived-in hi-hat patterns and familiar, calming electric piano chords. It helps the medicine go down easier, sure, but there's not that much medicine. You get the sense that this style is so dear to Thaemlitz that she's less willing to fuck with it, at least on a sonic level. Midtown 120 Blues, at nearly 80 minutes, is almost womb-like in its immersion, though Thaemlitz rejects the idea of the club as a healing, safe space. You don't "lose yourself" in Midtown 120 Blues; it's a reflection on feeling lost.

Thaemlitz began documenting this scene in 1998, shortly after those clubs were elbowed out of downtown, with the Sloppy 42nds 12", her first work under the DJ Sprinkles alias. Midtown 120 Blues again took this baton a decade later, chronicling the turbulence and violation that existed in Thaemlitz's communities; it's an album that seethes, however prettily, as Thaemlitz laces her patient, supple grooves with short speeches.

One poignant segment of "Ball'r (Madonna-Free Zone)" finds her railing against Madonna, whose "decontextualized, reified, corporatized, liberalized, neutralized, asexualized, re-genderized pop reflection" of the vogue scene not only misrepresented the scene's origins but left the queen "who actually taught [Madonna] how to vogue" broke. Thaemlitz is a compelling speaker, and the hurt and anger in her voice is obvious; she's also deft enough to let the preachers, whom she often samples, do the preaching. Midtown 120 Blues feels far more personal than political.

Midtown 120 Blues is a remembrance, but it's also a travelogue, loosely documenting Thaemlitz's move from her childhood home in Missouri and her immersion in midtown's scene. "Grand Central, Pt. II (72 hrs. by Rail from Missouri)" functions largely like the KLF's Chill Out, organizing samples into an ambient collage that holds your attention even as it drifts for eight minutes. Moments like these feel like a salve for Jesse Jackson, who burns through his (sampled) vocal chords on "Sisters, I Don't Know What This World is Coming To" and the nervous, pendulous piano of "House Music Is Controllable Desire You Can Own".

Like punk music, house music was an underground phenomenon that offered an outlet to people who really needed an outlet. And like punk music, its history is romanticized to the point that the ills and misdeeds that still permeated the community are largely ignored. In the mid-'90s Thaemlitz was fired from a prominent DJ gig because she refused to play Gloria Estefan, a frequent request from the johns who would frequent the club; the johns, after all, kept the club open.

Thaemlitz quit, exhibiting the kind of principled stubbornness that has guided her career. This persists: Midtown 120 Blues will not be issued on vinyl, a medium unable to provide an accurate stereo bass response. Still, there's a fondness to Midtown 120 Blues, not least in its closing shuffle, "The Occaional Feel-Good". There is love here, however guarded. At its best, Midtown 120 Blues simultaneously acts as a corrective to house's ahistorical narrative and reminds us just how potent and beautiful New York deep house can be.
Andrew Gaerig / Pitchfork

Saturday, 17 July 2021

Black Midi ‎– Cavalcade (2021)

Style: Experimental, Art Rock, Math Rock
Format: CD, Vinyl, FLAC
Label: Rough Trade

1.   John L
2.   Marlene Dietrich
3.   Chondromalacia Patella
4.   Slow
5.   Diamond Stuff
6.   Dethroned
7.   Hogwash and Balderdash
8.   Ascending Forth

John Murphy - Producer
Marta Salogn - Mixing, Producer, Programming

Black Midi have always maintained that they’ll never reach a final form. Though their debut album ‘Schlagenheim’ put them at the vanguard of British guitar music, and NME labelled them the “best band in London” before they’d even released a single, there was never any chance of the band settling into a predictable sound. “If we kept on doing the same stuff, we’d quit the band,” they said in a 2019 interview.

Even with this knowledge, the band’s second album ‘Cavalcade’ is a remarkable left turn. Across the album’s eight songs and 40 minutes, they traverse noise rock, unhinged jazz, ambient folk and beyond. Their claim in a past interview that their music would soon be “unrecognisable” from their initial form suddenly doesn’t seem so ridiculous. A band who defy expectation at every turn, the only predictable thing about Black Midi is that they’ll never stay the same.

Despite sounding lightyears away from traditional guitar music, the band’s original make-up – two guitars, bass, drums and vocals – at least appeared uniform to look at. On ‘Cavalcade’, the band – now a trio for the foreseeable future, with guitarist Matt Kwasniewski-Kelvin taking time out for mental health reasons – change this up too, adding saxophone, violin and more to the mix, all contributing to the maelstrom of noise they whip up across its length.

They’re also clearly not averse to inviting others into their process. A new ‘golden ticket’ competition launched alongside the release of new single ‘Chondromalacia Patella’ contains a prize of collaborating with the band for a day in the studio (or life-long guestlist to their shows, or for the band to perform at an event of your choosing – they’re nothing if not flexible).

Squalls of violin open the album on ‘John L’, a deranged war cry of a first single. It periodically screeches to a halt before galloping away once again; unpredictability rules on a track that feels like a runaway train. Controlled moments do appear on ‘Cavalcade’ – ‘Diamond Stuff’ is a gorgeously delicate wonderland of soft strings and acoustic guitars, while ‘Marlene Dietrich’, a song about the titular cabaret singer, honours her craft and turns Black Midi into a bar band for a moment, with vocalist Geordie Greep their crooning frontman.

‘Slow’, another highlight, feels plucked from a jam session, where the band rise and fall as one through a skittish introduction that travels through a mystical midsection before coming to a head once again in a jazz-influenced explosion of noise defined by its jubilant saxophone. Then there’s ‘Hogwash and Balderdash’, which screeches to a halt after its introduction of frantic noise rock to float away in its new guise as a country song. Almost as if realising what’s just happened, the band then handbrake turn back into a whirlpool of blackened guitars. If you don’t need a lie down after this one, you’re stronger than us.

Frontman Geordie Greep’s vocals have been a standout feature of Black Midi since the band’s inception, his truly unique yelp pushing them even further away from any comparison to their peers. As with the music on ‘Cavalcade’, he manages to stretch his voice into unchartered territory here. On ‘Dethroned’, he gets close to crooner territory again, adding melody to the dissonance, while half way through ‘John L’, vocal effects make his booming voice sound like a master leading a war chant in The Lord Of The Rings.

Greep’s lyrical content also takes huge strides forward on the new album. Intent on telling theatrical third-person stories, the album tells tales of unhinged cult leaders (‘John L’), “an ancient corpse found in a diamond mine” (‘Diamond Stuff’) and much, much more. The lyrics – when they’re intelligible, at least – add yet another layer of weirdness and unpredictability to music already shaking at its foundations, ready to fall apart. (Greep wasn’t ever really singing platitudes, though – debut single ‘bmbmbm’ spoke of people who “find different ways to suck themselves off”.)

With regards to where Black Midi might go next, ‘Cavalcade’ poses far more questions than it does answers (as did ‘Schlagenheim’). One thing emphatically confirmed, though, is that they’re miles beyond the flash-in-the-pan buzz band some pre-emptively penned them as. Whatever form, sound or shape they might gravitate towards next, it’s certain that they’re here to stay, and their intense fire shows no danger of burning out.

Black Midi will almost definitely never make easily digestible or understandable music – they’re probably as excited and confused about where they’re heading next as we are – but to focus on the finer points and try to make sense of it would be to miss the overall point of the band. Simply going down the rabbit hole with these deeply weird, brilliant musicians will never be less than exhilarating.
Will Richards / NME

Friday, 9 July 2021

José Mauro ‎– A Viagem Das Horas (1976)

Genre: Latin, Folk, World, & Country
Format: Vinyl, CDFLAC
Label:  Far Out Recordings, Tape Car, Quartin

A1.   A Viagem Das Horas
A2.   Escada De Ferro
A3.   A Oitava Morada
A4.   Variação Sobre Um Antigo Tema
A5.   Morango Encantado
A6.   Luz Lilás
B1.   Rua Dois
B2.   Moenda
B3.   O Cavaleiro De Antonina
B4.   Romanza
B5.   O Ninho

Trumpet – Maurilio
Alto Saxophone – Paulo Moura
Bass – Sebastião Marinho
Drums – Wilson Das Neves
Flute – Altamiro Carrilho
Guitar – Geraldo Vesper
Harmonica – Rildo Hora
Organ, Piano, Harpsichord – Don Salvador
Percussion – Juquinha, Mamão
Arranged By, Conductor – Gaya
Composed By, Acoustic Guitar, Viola Nordestina – José Mauro
Producer, Directed By, Strings Conductor, Mixed By – Roberto Quartin

LOST albums create a mystique stoked by rumour, fandom and hype, waiting for the moment to surface and often for the bubble of expectation to burst.

But some records emerge from the past almost unannounced, previously known to the very few and for the rest of us waiting to be found before we knew that they were ever lost. Expert curators Far Out Recordings have consistent form in springing such surprises and here’s another from their meticulous digging through the archives of Brazilian music, A Viagem Das Horas, by singer-songwriter José Mauro.

Far Out have unearthed evidence of Mauro’s uncanny genius before, putting out his haunting 1970 debut Obnoxious several years ago, but to some extent A Viagem Das Horas is even more of a find. Recorded at the same Rio sessions as his first LP for the boundary-pushing Quartin label, the album didn’t appear until six years later with several tracks from Obnoxious as replacements. Speculation has long since circulated about this unsatisfactory end to Mauro’s recording career and the silence that followed. Was he imprisoned by the junta as part of their cultural purge; or worse still, killed in a suspicious road accident?

Thankfully the dogged persistence of the good people at Far Out has paid off. They managed to track down the lost musician still living in Rio, who revealed that he had retreated from high profile pop after A Viagem… to work in the theatre and as a music educator. Sadly, as he poetically observed, his long-term absence from the scene had been down to some harsh realities: ‘”My body pushed me away from music; health became a stumbling block for me.”

Against this back drop, the release of A Viagem Das Horas has added poignancy, carrying emotional baggage that this extraordinary, indefinable music manages to match without flinching. The record may be over 50 years old, but it has a resonance to reach out half a century later. The title track exposes the scale of ambition that pushed Maura and his partner, lyricist Ana Maria Bahania, to make such eclectic soundscapes. Maudlin strings quiver atmospherically around Mauro’s deep baritone, setting up a lushly orchestrated samba and lulling you into the warm familiarity of 70s’ Brazilian pop. But there the convention ends – the rustic rhythms, stripped-to-the-bone bass line and backing vocals that swoop suddenly to those minor keys, shake down any notion of an easy listen. This is unquestionably deep chill music. We’ve embedded the track for you below.

It’s that tension between the orthodox and the avant that vibrates through the whole album and gives it an inner strength. “A Oitiva Morada” drifts from torch song to smooth samba (whoops and all) but gets ruffled by slightly off-kilter, almost gothic harmonies; “Luz Lilas” mixes spiritual chimes with some delightfully basic, low-fi brass to give it a warm, lived-in quality; and as a sign-off “O Ninho” allows urgent percussion and booming brass to take over from its opening choral gravitas.

Elsewhere Mauro and his orchestrator Lindolfo Gaya weave in a bewildering range of influences to support their inspired, elusive music. A late sixties pop-psych haze breezes in with the harpsichord patterns of “Variacao Sobre um Antigo Tema” and the zither/clarinet combo on the melodramatic “O Cavaleiro de Antonina”. To go alongside these flamboyant arrangements, A Viagem… in places takes a more direct, pared down approach drawing on Mauro’s acoustic sensibilities.

“Romanza” connects magically with the madrigal and the medieval, whereas “Rua Dois” revolves around his characteristic, slightly brutal guitar progressions. Those startling open-tuned chords also drive the eerie, experimental “Morango Encantado”, on which Mauro’s vocal, deadpan and almost weary, reaches down to maybe its darkest point.

Without doubt within all the musical exotica of A Viagem Das Horas there is an underlying sense of melancholy matched with a determination to get to the other side. This was music made at a time of extreme cultural oppression in Brazil, in which, as Mauro’s partner Ana Mari Bahiana says, artists found themselves being “part of a generation in transit, searching for another option”.

Maybe that’s why José Mauro’s lost gem of a record makes such an impact listening to it in 2021. It captures where we are, right here, right now.
John Parry / Backseat Mafia

Tuesday, 6 July 2021

Rádio Macau ‎– Rádio Macau (1984)

Style: Alternative Rock, Post-Punk, Pop Rock
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: EMI

1.   Um Dia A Mais
2.   A Noite
3.   Bom Dia Lisboa
4.   Até O Diabo Se Ria
5.   Diabos No Paraíso
6.   No Cenário Habitual
7.   Mais Uma Canção Sobre Edifícios A Arder
8.   É Tão Fácil
9.   No Comboio Descendente

Voice – Xana 
Bass – Alexandre
Drums – Ramalho
Guitar – Flak
Producer – Francisco Vasconcelos, Pedro Vasconcelos, Rádio Macau
Synthesizer – L. Filipe Valentim
Written-By – Flak, Pedro Malaquias, Vitinha, Xana
Producer – Francisco Vasconcelos, Pedro Vasconcelos, Rádio Macau 

Saturday, 3 July 2021

Matthew E. White & Lonnie Holley ‎– Broken Mirror: A Selfie Reflection (2021)

Style: Alternative Rock
Format: CD, Vinyl, FLAC
Label: Spacebomb Records

A1.   This Here Jungle Of Moderness/Composition 14
A2.   Broken Mirror (A Selfie Reflection)/ Composition 9
B1.   I Cried Space Dust/Composition 12
B2.   I’m Not Tripping/Composition 8
B3.   Get Up! Come Walk With Me/Composition 7

Vocals – Lonnie Holley
Bass, Percussion – Cameron Ralston
Congas, Percussion, Synth – Giustino Riccio
Drums, Percussion – Pinson Chanselle
Guitar, Arp Sequencer – Alan Parker 
Percussion, Electronic Mica Sonic Drums – Brian Jones 
Synth, Piano, Keyboards – Daniel Clarke, Devonne Harris
Written-By – Lonnie Holley, Matthew E. White
Post Production, Edited By, Overdubbed By – Adrian Olsen, Matthew E. White
Producer – Adrian Olsen, Adrian Olsen, Matthew E. White, Matthew E. White
When instinct and serendipity collide it’s imperative to act fast. In those rare moments where something akin to magic presents itself time can feel as though it’s slipping through your fingers like sand in an hourglass. When producer and musician Matthew E. White showed Lonnie Holley a series of demos he’d shelved in 2018, he quickly realised that the Alabama-born artist and performer was the missing piece he needed to transform those sonic sketches into three-dimensional compositions. As White made his way through the instrumentals, Holley searched pages of his notebook for penned thoughts. Led purely by feeling, these lyrics were seamlessly set to arrangements he’d never heard before. Four hours later, Broken Mirror: A Selfie Reflection was captured. 

The septuagenarian’s ad-lib approach reflected White’s attitude as he prepared to return to the studio following his 2015 LP, Fresh Blood. Wanting to switch up his songwriting style, White assembled an accomplished septet of musicians which he led in sessions of improvisational free-playing. Across Broken Mirror, White’s production echoes aspects of how Danger Mouse and the late Richard Swift (who coincidentally produced Holley’s 2020 release, National Freedom) drew inspiration from the psychedelic fusion of jazz and rock during the 1970s. An alluring spell of celestial keys, drawing inspiration from Miles Davis’ early exploration in electric instrumentation that predated his Bitches Brew eruption, casts a brighter glow on anchoring dub beats. Furthermore, woven throughout the music are a variety of immersive motifs and influences from David Byrne’s propensity for dynamic African-influenced beats on ‘I’m Not Tripping / Composition 8’, which precedes the glorious cascading glockenspiel notes that twinkle amidst the rumbling thunder of ‘Get Up! Walk With Me / Composition 7’. It’s difficult to isolate one particular stand-out movement or song from the record. Everything here is a triumph. 

The immediacy of Broken Mirror’s compositions culminates in a timeless and timely record, and the collaborative partnership between Matthew E. White and Lonnie Holley is a natural one – a case of the right place at the right time leading to the creation of the right songs for this moment.
Zara Hedderman / Loud And Quiet

Thursday, 1 July 2021

Eitetsu Hayashi – Kaze No Shisha (1983)

Style: Experimental, Minimal, Ambient
Format: CD, Vinyl
Label: Victor, Studio Mule

1.   Kin-Ton-Un
2.   Cosmos
3.   Kalavinka
4.   Kaze No Shisha
5.   Bakuon
6.   Seiten

Drum, Percussion – 林英哲
Marimba, Bells – 高田みどり
Percussion, Gayageum – 池成子
Voice – ハネムーンズ
Written-By – Eitetsu Hayashi
Producer – Eitetsu Hayashi

Studio Mule present a reissue of Eitetsu Hayashi's Kaze No Shisha, originally released in 1983. Spiritual leaning rhythms come from none other than Eitetsu Hayashi, one of Japan's most renown taiko drummers, a percussive instrument that is deeply rooted in the mythology of Japanese folklore. Kaze No Shisha is a crucial album in his long-spanning career, that started in 1971 when Hayashi joined the famed Ondekoza Group. The so-called "demon drum group" established the taiko drumming to a global audience and intensively toured around the globe between 1975 and 1981. Shortly after, Hayashi and some like-minded spirits formed Kodo, a new drum troupe with Hayashi as the lead drummer. After their first live performances he left the ensemble again in order to launch his solo career, an output first marked by Kaze No Shisha, released in 1983 on the Japanese subsidiary of the US record company Victor. The album's six compositions feature Hayashi on taiko drum and other percussion by famed Japanese composer Midori Takada on marimba, cymbal, and bells, Shuichi Chino on synthesizer, Chi Soungja on the traditional Korean zither gayageum and the Korean janggu drum, as well as the singers Kamur and Tenko, also known as The Honeymoons. The record's A side starts rough and traditional with "Kintonun", a tune in which Hayashi bangs the taiko stormy while charmingly dancing with Chi Soungja's Korean janggu drum performance. A propulsive start that slides into "cosmos" -- a slow glooming melancholic trance-folk-spiritual tranquilizer, featuring Hayashi playing the piano and koto, while Chi Soungja ghostly weeps on his gayageum zither. A perfectly built folk drama, deeply charged with a musical infinity. Its followed by "kalavinka", an industrial leaning composition that lifts off with metal tones and meditative chanting, only to melt into a mesmerizing melodic marimba crescendo, played by Midori Takada. B side opener "Kaze No Shisha" presents a slow growing performance by Hayashi on the Japanese zither koto. His nervous play transforms into a synth drone played by Shuichi Chino, that slowly makes space for Hayashi's tribal taiko drumming that again disappears in another wave of koto string notes. The follow-up "Bakuon" launches with a supersonic transport sound and operatic singing by The Honeymoons, which amalgamate with Hayashi's feverish performance on his main instrument, the taiko. On "Seiten", Hayashi creates a conversation between the taiko and mokugyo, also known as the Buddhist wooden fish. A captivating, experimental album, full of Japanese music mysticism, surprising non-linear shock-waves, repetitive minimal structures, and frenziedly drumming.