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Kazuhisa Uchihashi and Tatsuya Yoshida: Barisshee (2012)

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Kazuhisa Uchihashi and Tatsuya Yoshida: Barisshee How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Since its inception, the Tzadik label has continued to introduce musicians from the vibrant Japanese underground scene. Prolific drummer Tatsuya Yoshida is one of the most famous, active in countless outfits—most of them duos and trios. Guitarist Kazuhisa Uchihashi, who now resides in Berlin, is a close collaborator, guesting in Yoshida's legendary Ruins, recording a series of improvisational albums with the drummer in the last decade.

With this duo recording, they keep honing their language. Both play super fast—flowing with myriad of ideas, often ones that collide with others—and sound as if they are continually pushing forward, attempting to contain every extreme path imaginable. The muscular interplay does not attach itself to any one musical idea. Once it is featured, it is consumed almost instantly and makes way for a new one—or usually few new ones. There are hardly any themes or linear progression in the conventional sense; instead, dense, detailed textures that challenge both genre and conception.

Yoshida and Kazuhisa have, over the years, developed an idiosyncratic virtuoso language that relies on their encyclopedic knowledge of progressive rock, blues, jazz and even heavy metal legacies and a unique ability to create sophisticated patterns that sound like equivalents of complicated mathematical equations. On pieces like "vinsue vishndre," there are microscopic references to iconic influences such as the French prog band Magma, mainly when Yoshida adds operatic vocals; but these references are also spiced with surf guitar and futuristic noises. Their ability to contain and exchange so many musical ideas at any given moment without slowing down for even a second, as well as their eccentric imagination and sense of humor, enable this duo to sound like a consortium of restless musicians.

Few pieces deviate from the wild, energetic mode as the still nervous "equillbhimgorzz," which begins with humorous abstract interplay and, in its uncompromising manner, heads into joyful, chaotic cacophony. On "dheffdaghizhum," sampled percussive sounds imitate an African kalimba and balafon, but are soon mutated and molested in their futuristic shamanic sounds, coupled with intense blues licks. Yoshida and Kazuhisa even test their ability to create an infectious R&B groove on "nhyffighed kellesaix."

Barisshee promises and delivers an exciting, eccentric and wild ride.

Track Listing: Sdafhgrophijdzu; Rugboskvojz; Vinsue vishndre; Buoduygosiapju; Thubugdoispp; Ffydockmhassaqs; Equillbhimgorzz; Dheffdaghizhum; Mchifieck ssuckbp; Zpucqwor fibucked; Hyffighed kel.

Personnel: Kazuhisa Uchihashi: guitar, effects; Tatsuya Yoshida: drums, sampler, wave drum, voice.

Record Label: Tzadik


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