Friday, February 4, 2011

すごい !! aka Awesome

Thanks to the fine folks at CJSW in Calgary, the album featured in this entry just fell into my lap this week. Included as part of their mailer to fellow campus/community stations and spotlighting the latest and greatest to come out of Cowtown, heRajiKa Tracks full-length Love Universal is instantly in the running for best albums of 2011. Front to back it is a beautiful piece of work that is all of a note without succumbing to monotony.

One of my all-time favourite "slept on" albums is Ki-Oku, the collaboration between DJ Krush and Toshinori Kondo (FYI: I bristle at the Chris Botti comparison in the AMG review... way off mark). Love Universal instantly took me back to that 1998 record though with its blend of manufactured beats and live instrumentation. But where Ki-Oku featured Kondo's fantastic, restrained trumpet work balanced against Krush's dynamic beats, Love Universal is weighted towards Koki Aihara's exceptional piano work - just listen to "Shi-gure" below to hear how Aihara's trills and repeated patterns draw you into the center of the song while Ryuto Shibata's beats construct the sonic buildings that surround the listener. In my mind's eye, the picture this track paints is standing still in the middle of Trafalgar or Times Square, surrounded by bustle and buildings.


Be sure to 'Like' the duo on their Facebook page.

Thanks for reading, now start listening...