Libra

The unsettling nature of this quartet keeps our attention riveted for the entire 68-plus minute duration. Atmospheres verging on the mysteriously nervous are punctuated by serpentine movements and animated exchanges between Tamura’s trumpet and Sharp’s soprano sax, while Fujii is often almost imperceptible, John Tilbury style, yet her piano can become obstinately percussive – as on “Crowing Crab”‘s most intense pulses. It’s not always easy distinguishing Sharp’s guitar sound from Kato’s timbral shades, as both guitars are mostly used as a background colour and rarely come out into the foreground. In “Flying Jellyfish” we’re treated to a fusion of post-Industrial and sound narration from a B horror movie whose incomprehensible plot is balanced by the pretty face of the monster lurking behind the door. Once more it’s Sakoto Fujii’s piano sound, so strangely reminiscent of long-gone past eras, that gives the ensemble a fascinating old-style experimental vibe. And that’s how the record ends, with Tamura taking a slow, sad trumpet solo while Fujii’s sparse chords and the guitarists’ silent string-breathing measure space for the thoughts to walk away from our mind.

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