Tamaru – FIGURE


Improvising bassist Tamaru has been playing solo performances since the early 90s, when he acquired his current sonic tool on a November morning famous in Japan for the social turmoil stemming from the bankruptcy of a major national securities company. Why he mentions this detail is a mystery to me, though one could surmise that the comforting quality of most of the music was (is) a sort of reaction, the search for a means to calm down a bit after experiencing the feeling of inner unsteadiness elicited by (further) bad news in times of economic shrinkage. The technique applied by Tamaru is pretty basic: with the bass tuned standard for a “good affect [sic] on the overtone layers emitted by the instrument”, he sits with his right foot on a volume pedal and his left changing the parameters of a digital delay system in real time, the results unedited. The most beguiling side of Figure manifests itself when gracefully curved tones are left alone to resound for long periods, circling and spiralling in pleasant semi-static velvetiness, quivering lows rubbing the auricular membranes and the nape of the neck. When delay is used to alter the sound more decisively, notes superimposed to generate a little harmonic thickness or even minor dissonance, that mesmerizing aura gets somewhat tarnished. Providing you’re not expecting miracles, this remains a fine enough recording if approached at an ideal moment.


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