Salle Gaveau — Alloy
(Maboroshi MABO-023, 2007, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2008-10-01
A new French band, right? Not exactly, although this Japanese quintet of guitar, piano, violin, accordion and contrabass could give many a European folk-jazz-RIO band a surprisingly good challenge – in fact that’s exactly what they did in the Friday night opening slot of last year’s Rock In Opposition event in Carmeaux. (See last issue’s cover story). Led by guitarist Natsuki Kido, who many may be familiar with via his work with Bondage Fruit, Era, Warehouse, Coil, and other formations, they have been playing together since 2003, although Alloy is the band’s first official release. This is a mostly acoustic band, the exception being some of Kido’s guitar work; the combination of the accordion and violin playing provides a solid rooting in traditional east-Euro folk music, although the next strongest element in their sound would be a sort-of Django Reinhardt jazz-swing feel, which all members of the ensemble have a strong hand in. Entirely instrumental, all of the compositions are originals, mostly penned by Kido, though the few pieces written by other members are equally excellent. Fans of bands like Nimal and L’Ensemble Rayé would do well to investigate this outstanding release.
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more