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Miminokoto, "Chofu, Ekoda, Koenji: LIve in & Around Tokyo"

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cover image As some part of the Acid Mothers Temple nexus of forward thinking rock musicians in Japan, Junzo Suzuki’s Miminokoto keeps the psychedelic freakout tendencies in check, but the trio isn’t afraid to push their folksy sound into rawer, less conventional territory.  Compared to his recent Pieces for Hidden Circles, the full band setting helps to create a more diverse and rich tapestry of sound that bears his mark.

Plunk's Plan


Recorded live at three different locations in Tokyo between late 2008 and early 2009, it sounds far more like a coherent album rather than live recordings in various settings.  The opening traditional of "Ame To Yuki" starts mostly as rudimentary rock:  basic guitar strums, sparse percussion and vocals, with melodic bass appearing later on.  For the most part, it keeps mellow until the ending segments, which turns on the effects and throws a bit of chaos into the mix.  "That Spiral Orbit" treads similar ground, but with some fuzzy, wah-wah’d bass that turns the funk up some, but not too much.  The dynamics shift from relaxed and minimal to tenser, loud moments, but not dramatically so.

"Teiji Romen" sets sail for jazzier territories, focusing on the rhythmic pulse of Takuya Nishimura’s bass and Koji Shimura’s drums, with Suzuki’s guitar acting more as a subtle punctuation, before all three of them launch into some great harsher moments later on.  Both "1-3-5" and "Remember" go back into a more conventional rock framework, the former mixing electric guitar playing and rhythms, and even allowing for some jazz-based guitar soloing towards the end.  The more somber "Remember" immediately called to mind "Another Day” from the first Cure album as a possible influence, in both its sound and emotions conveyed, later building in complexity from the interplay of instruments.

The closer "A Whirlpool of Light" takes its influence more from Tago Mago era Can than anything else.  Opening slow with delicate guitar and tom-tom drum flourishes, it later morphs to a more dramatic sound, with impassioned vocals and clattering percussion leading the charge into rapid fire, but complex and dense rhythmic structures.  It is perhaps the most "different" of the tracks here, and I personally think it’s a brilliant closer to a great album.

Sonically this is perhaps one of the most "normal" things I’ve had come across my desk in recent months, but it’s far from boring or overly conventional.  Instead, it’s a warm and inviting disc that isn’t an exercise in unnecessary complexity, nor is it overly esoteric, but is just the right vibe of familiar and innovation.



Last Updated on Sunday, 16 May 2010 21:58  


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