Kuwayama & Masayoshi Urabe / Heteroptics (CDr,
Intransitive Recordings USA 2011)
is a recording of the first collaboration by Kuwayama
Kiyoharu (aka Lethe, here playing cello, viola, and
and Masayoshi Urabe (saxophone, chains, and more industrial
debris), recorded live with no edits or overdubs
in an abandoned warehouse space by Nagoya Port, Japan.
Massive, desolate music that seems to send urgent
signal flares into the dense darkness of the industrial
Edition of 100
In the first batch of releases on Songs From Under
The Floorboards there was 'From Abolition Port' by
Kuwayama Kiyoharu, the cellist (violin, metal junk,
wood sticks) and Masayoshi Urabe, the alto-saxophonist
(chains, metal joints, bell).
That recording was from 2003, now they found one (under
the floorboards presumably) from October 3rd 2002,
which is pretty much an extension of that work.
The saxophone plays a big role, along with rattling
of cages, deep drones produced by Kuwayama and falling
of objects, using the natural reverb of the space.
Again a totally free work, but here comes jazz with
a '?'. Especially in the second half of the work there
are two lengthy passages that very quiet, with the
second one (starting around 42 minutes) a leading
role for the cello, making this an odd modern classical
part with folk like influences. The whole second half
was anyway more spend on me than the first half.
VITAL WEEKLY 776 (FdW)
The Japanese have taken to jazz with a passion most countries
in its thrall have not approached. What makes Japanese
jazz compelling is that the musicians begin and end with
the solo: improvisation, often frenzied and with the spiritual
reach of free jazz, has been the legacy that has made
Japanese jazz as influential in some ways as the music
that inspired it. That has made for some of the most intense,
crazed music ever recorded in any genre. Heteroptics is
the latest improvisational work from Japan that channels
not only Coltrane, Ayler, etc, but also Japanese pioneers
like Aube and Takayanagi.
A one-track exploration and conversation between alto
sax player Masayoshi Urabe and cellist Kiyoharu Kuwayama
(and recorded in the latterfs warehouse space in Nagoya),
Heteroptics begins with shades and shadows, with quite,
minimal intonations that slowly move from solo to alternating
to unified. It is here that, as stated in the liner notes
to their previous collaboration From Abolition Port, gspace
acts as the third instrument.h
But the messages passed between Kuwayama and Urabe soon
become morecdistressed? Ecstatic? The thin line between
grace and despair is explored with harsh, deadly precision,
the sax and cello screaming, retreating into silence,
exploding, with that third instrument always present.
The piece ends simply, quietly, literally drifting away,
the last notes sounding like they were recorded at the
opposite end of the space from the mics.
It is hard to sustain such a rich, often profound interchange
between two great improvisers, but there is no wasted
space or sound in the fifty seven minutes of Heteroptics.
This is a dose of free expression that is not for the
uninitiated, but it is also for anyone who appreciates
risk and spirit in music.
July 13, 2011 By Mike Wood Foxy Digitalis