Toshimaru Nakamura + Ken Ikeda + Tomoyoshi Dale – Green Heights

ToshimaroNakamura_GreenHeightsWEB

CD – Baskaru

Toshimaru Nakamura was particularly active in the Onkyokei, a movement whose name has been translated as “sound reverberation”. This phrase was used to define the free improvisation form that took hold in Japan in the late 90s. Nakamura performs as a sound mixer – as what he describes as a “no-input mixing board”. With Nakamura are Ken Ikeda on synths and the string decoder and Tomoyoshi Dale on toy piano, organ, vibraphone, piano and field-recordings. The abstractions are rigorous and sweet, with great integration of the overdubs: as a result it is difficult to clearly identify who is doing what and if the whole work is aleatory or otherwise. The five tracks were recorded in Bunkyo-Ku, Tokyo, in two different sessions (July and December 2011). The sequences are full of exotic atmospheres and digital influxes, sometimes melodic, sometimes dissonant. The evolutions are played out with extreme expertise and a fuzzy control. The musicians give life to refined, evocative and stylized passages, while the free improvisations somehow avoid the risk of structural excesses or overly mathematically construction. The effect is delicately beautiful, able to melt away any anxiety about formal crystallization. In this extremely fluid sound matter the three masters allow different elements to coexist: austere minimalism, electroacoustics, digital virtuosity (the vintage sound of an outmoded DX7) and ambient winces. The Baskaru people should be proud of this work: it’s unusual to see three great artists together in such a state of grace as the authors of Green Heights.

 

Toshimaru Nakamura + Ken Ikeda + Tomoyoshi Date – Balcony I