mono live anders_jensenliva ventura

Since I bought “You are there” (and even more with “Palmless Prayers/ Mass Murder Refrain”) I thought that Mono (JP) brought the beautiful melancholia to a quiet place and took it beyond other post rock bands. A noisy ensemble playing mostly quite, long pieces. The concert at Loppen yesterday was no way silent and I suddenly came to doubt if they had only brought peace to my mind, not to my ears?
I guess it was the right choice to go for the more rocking tunes, yet still complex and beautiful. I do appreciate the lacking or at least only slow development in melodies, and ever-continuing crescendos in post rock. But in the end I was bored by the lack of surprise.

Before I left left for the concert I listened to Liva Ventura, the Danish supporting act, at Myspace and decided to come early. “Until the days disappear” and “Connections” (if it wasn’t for the female vocals, sorry) are pretty good songs. I should be careful with namedropping, but it’s a up tempo version of Low frequency in Stereo, early Psyched Up Janis fuzz and reminisces of 90ies Sonic Youth clean guitars (I’m probably the only one to hear this). But first and foremost straight forward, good post rock: repetitive and driven by guitar riffs con amore. Their concert was decent and I do look forward to the album out on Play/rec in may.

Even more though I would like to recommend everyone with lust for NEU! and Silver Apples to listen to the new single from the Horrors. Psychedelic, transcendental and maybe overplayed? Sea within a sea at Youtube.

Kazuki Tomokawa

Thursday, 26 March, 2009

Kazuki TomokawaSome of the best records I probably never get to hear. But I do my best to neglect the prediction. Bubbachup at Motel de Moka made a real nice entry a while ago about the best albums in 2008.

I will listen more to Dennis González & Faruq Z. Bey with Northwoods Improvisers Septet and Fire on Fire in the future. But the one that really got me on fire was the album Blue Water, Red Water [青い水赤い水] by Kazuki Tomokawa.

I bought five albums very cheap from P.S.F Records (send and received within less than a week) among them the awesome “Blue water, red water”. His voice is described as screaming, and I would ad haunting, yet story telling. Although some people might know him, he is rather unfamiliar in the western countries. I hope this will change.

Kazuki Tomokawa has been productive over the last decades and has release several albums. He is a folk singer, and the main thing – to me – is his voice and temperament. It’s sometimes brutal, sometimes intense.
Only one out the five bought albums has an English title. It makes it more exotic and hardly available, but also very compelling and inspiring. I believe Scandinavian listeners might be more familiar with some of the works of Kazuki Tomokawa. I still got a lot to learn about him, and there are several hours of listening to this Japanese singer songwriter. But it isn’t half as weird as it sounds.

His website is in Japanese only –

Wikipedia has a better view of his releases than discogs –

There is a really nice introduction at the blog Sonic Asymmetry, although the blogpost is mostly written as a review of the album “Erise no me”.

And you might be lucky to download full albums at Time has told me.

I can also recommend the fine review of Blue Water, Red Water at Brainwashed which – as always – includes some one minute snippets.