Exposé print issues (1993-2011)
Futari — Underground
(Libra 202-069, 2021, CD / DL)
by Jon Davis, Published 2022-04-10
Since Beyond, which came out earlier in 2021, the duo of Satoko Fujii (piano) and Taiko Saito (mallet instruments) has continued their collaboration. The CD release of Underground on the Libra label collects together selections from three Underground volumes they have released on Bandcamp, presenting ten tracks comprising 50 minutes of music. As with Beyond, there’s a range of moods, with a fair amount of time spent in eerie floating soundscapes featuring bowed vibraphone and prepared piano. Quite a lot of the sounds heard might not be readily identified as originating with the acoustic instruments involved, and could even pass for electronic at times. But there are plenty of times when you clearly have a piano and a vibraphone or marimba involved. The album was a virtual collaboration, with the two sending files to each other for additions and contributions, but both have approached it as basically improvisational rather than compositional (setting aside any quibbles about improvisation being spontaneous composition). A piece like “Finite or Infinite” brings the more energetic possibilities to the fore, with an insistent pulse of repeated notes from marimba while the piano provides flurries of notes. The title track is a polar opposite, with indistinct scraping and roaring sounds fading in and out, with only a few hints of marimba notes. Listeners who are fascinated by sonic explorations of the acoustic variety should check out Underground.
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