Sunday, May 01, 2005

mo minia, mo minia

Minamo knocked me ass flat June 2002 at Chicago's Hideout. Venturing with Tim Barnes on a brief US tour, supporting their second disk .kgs, the Tokyo-based four-some delivered shamanistic electronic shape-shifting with band-like breathe of guitar, saxophone and computers. Nearly grass-like, they reached faultless plateaus while cementing themselves without need of studio protection. Quite a striking anomaly amongst the throngs. And .kgs, a half-studio/half-live album and one of my favs of that year, was just as rich if not more. The follow up, Beautiful didn't grab me at all (but did many others), and I missed out on a CD-R that scooted out last year.

So, needless, anxiety has been high in the household for their newbie, the fith, Shinning (12K). Possibly taking extra cues from member Keiichi Sugimoto (Four Color, Fonica) Minamo expands the glowing drone into the forefront. The result is crisp, slow-motion improvisations that echo the jiter of yonder but is now polished into a smoother, digital veneer with minor eruptions and magnetic spikes. Namiko Sasamoto's rious saxophone gambits are missing (she sticks solely to keyboards here) but Yuichiro Iwashita's acoustic guitar sets the true inimitable of Minamo. He plucks string by string though manages a continuum rural folk tumbling that balances between Takoma and Taku Sugimoto. The immense drafts between his note allow distant sine waves rumbling traces to swell and overflow their dark globose forms. Could it be a comeback? I'm still pinning for the .kgs-era Minamo but I can easily soak in these sonorous canvases.

Minamo - Raum
Minamo - We Were
Minamo - Botanica Palallela II from .kgs

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