Sometimes the online world reveals unsuspected parallel dimensions. This is an unknown restyle of Neural independently (and secretly as we never knew about it) made by NY-based Motion and Graphic Designer, Clarke Blackham. Very nicely made, perhaps only a bit glossier for the magazine’s line, it testifies once more how even your most familiar outcomes can have another life somewhere else.
CD – Amorfon
We are at the extreme borders of experimental jazz and free form, where they collide with different musical wisdom and expertise. Jorge Queijo is a Portuguese drummer, Hiroki Chiba is a Japanese bassist and Yoshio Machida is a Japanese master of steelpan, a traditional metal drum instrument that is played with sturdy rods. These produce different sounds depending on the beaten cavities. Yoshio Machida should also be remembered for his experiments with seminal portable analog synthesizers, an approach that he put aside in this production. This release takes an improvisational non-electronic structure, full of vague post-rock reminiscences and with Asian, Indian and Gamelan influences. To be more precise Hiroki Chiba processes the sound of the bass interactively, while maintaining a semi-acoustic timbre. The fusion of different contributions is total, working perfectly in all the seven submitted tracks. The album, recorded for Amorfon at The Foxhole and Apollo in Tokyo, took exactly a year to complete, commencing in in February of 2014 and finishing in February 2015. The steelpan is usually an instrument associated with Caribbean music, but in this case, and in the attitude developed by Yoshio Machida, sounds are more rarefied and balanced, proliferating and evocative of natural scenery. What is surprising here is the composure of the textures, quietist and aesthetic. In short, jazz meets world music, natural sounds and experimental sequences, embracing the melancholy of the always-vibrant double bass and the melody of the steelpan. The result is that of a rigorous but extremely pleasant album.
Jorge Queijo / Hiroki Chiba / Yoshio Machida – Luminant