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Itoken / Klimperei / Frank Pahl — IKP
(Cuneiform Rune 3390, 2023, CD / DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2024-01-24

IKP Cover art

Kenji Ito, or Itoken, is a Japanese multi-instrumentalist (guitar, bass, piano, keyboards, drums, percussion, violin, xylophone, woodwinds, and more) probably best known as a member of the group Harpy, although he has contributed to nearly 100 recordings as well as releasing half a dozen solo albums over the years. Klimperei, at its outset in the late 80s was a French experimental music duo, although over time it has evolved into the solo project of multi-instrumentalist Christophe Petchanatz. Pahl is an American multi-instrumentalist, and member of the bands Only a Mother, Little Bang Theory, Scavenger Quartet, and others, but these days is known mainly as a one man band with nearly a dozen solo releases; he has previously collaborated with both Klimperei and Itoken’s band Harpy, but IKP is the first release where all three have collaborated together at the same time. And what has brought these three composers and players together? It’s their affinity for creating experimental music using primarily toy instruments, something that all three have pursued for many years. There are no vocals here (unless one considers whistling as vocals), so what we have is a fun instrumental romp through a number of different musical landscapes, chronicled with strange and unusual rhythms and sounds, though none of the nineteen cuts at hand would be considered abrasive — the three have crafted and arranged a set of extremely original music that is at once elegant, peaceful, and other-worldly, mixing a variety of standard instrumentation with toy instruments in ways that are clever, quirky, and pleasurable. The booklet provides plenty of information regarding how the project came together and got off the ground, though not a lot of details are provided regarding who contributed what, compositionally or instrumentally, so the listener is left with nineteen mysterious tracks, mostly in the two-to-three minute range that are pretty much like nothing you’ve ever heard before.

Filed under: New releases, 2023 releases

Related artist(s): Klimperei, Frank Pahl, Itoken (Kenji Ito)

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