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Keith ROWE - Toshimaru NAKAMURA

Weather sky

Label: Erstwhile Records

Format: CD

Genre: Jazz

In stock

That said, "Weather Sky" is another thing altogether. Bruno Meillier invited Toshi to play a duo concert in St Etienne with AMM's no-concessions table guitar master Keith Rowe, and took them into the studio the day after to record for Erstwhile. Sensitivity to pitch is less important here (Rowe, remember, hasn't tuned his guitar since the early 1960s): the album's three tracks are real slow-burners. Rowe can be agile and aggressive when he wants to, but his preferred working method is to lay down long drones and gently adjust them - which is basically what Nakamura does: the two are therefore totally compatible and neither feels any need to bounce the other in a new direction. The album's structure - two long pieces framing a shorter central one - is the same as Nakamura's first Erstwhile outing with Sachiko M, "Do", and the total listening experience is equally purifying for the ear (though where Sachiko's piercing sine waves belong to the dental surgery, Rowe's grainy buzzes wouldn't be out of place in a barber shop). This is not to give the impression that the music is painful to listen to - far from it (though prolonged listening at high volume through headphones might not be the best course of action): like the albums of LaMonte Young, Charlemagne Palestine and Tony Conrad, this music inhabits the listening space, and even tiny movements of the head can reveal new and surprising combinations of tones that listening to more conventionally "active" music tends to exclude. In its austere way, it's as direct, colourful and appetising as Rowe's trademark pop art cover - which is, literally, the cherry on the cake. (Paris Transatlantic, Dan Warburton)
Cat. number: erstwhile 018
Year: 2001

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