Exposé Online banner

Barton Rage / Toshinori Kondo — Realm II - Parallax
(Din Chamber, 2016, DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2016-09-12

Realm II - Parallax Cover art

With his second Realm offering, electronic artist Barton Rage teams up with trumpet player Toshinori Kondo, and the result is perhaps even better than Realm I, which featured Bill Laswell as the collaborator. Not that the music is greatly different in approach or even overall sonic impression — it’s just that Kondo’s trumpet provides a more distinctive contrast to the electronic setting. I’m reminded a bit of the wonderful Infolding by Spin Marvel. Realm II is slightly less energetic than Spin Marvel, but Kondo’s trumpet is treated similarly to Nils Petter Molvær’s was. Kondo has long been a pioneer in applying effects and treatments to his instrument, and the trumpet seems to be well suited to manipulation, something about the tone and range of the instrument just works. I mentioned this to a sax player friend of mine the other day, and he pointed out that because of how the trumpet is played (with the lips vibrating in a mouthpiece), musicians are forced to put space into their music to rest their lips, whereas sax players can blow forever without getting tired, and often do — to the detriment of the music. That’s as may be, but the spacious nature of Kondo’s playing is definitely one of the appeals here. At times the music grooves along nicely with a jazzy feel, and at other times it’s blissed-out ambient floating. All in all, quite an enjoyable listen, but I wonder what would happen if Rage put both Laswell and Kondo on the same piece... But maybe that's reserved for the Realm megamix collection at the end of the series.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases

Related artist(s): Barton Rage, Toshinori Kondo

Latest news

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Richard Pinhas - Metal / Crystal – If it's true – at least in creative work – that quantity yields quality, the recent releases by Richard Pinhas are proving that maxim possesses a limited applicability. Built as a...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues