Natsuki Tamura Quartet: In The Tank (2005)
What a measured, finely interlocking set of sounds it is, especially considering this is a completely freely improvised performance (recorded in Japan in 2001). There aren't high or low points, no swoops or soarings; the atmosphere remains consistently contained throughout, even when the intensity level rises, as it does a couple of minutes in on the 22-minute "Crowing Crab." The ensemble stays in a tight formation.
Is this pure sound? Appealingly-structured noise? There are times that images of a computer-animated foundry or blacksmith shop come to mind, similar to what you encounter on the Jerry Granelli/Jeff Reilly set Iron Sky (Love Slave, '03). And through the interludes of rock structures, blues shadings, jazz moments, and classical electro sound washes, a feeling of underlying structure and detached watching-the events-from-above serenity remains.
It's best to suspend expectations herethat can be said for just about everything Tamura is involved inand forget about analyzing or intellectualizing. Let it wash over you; let it seep into your pores.
Track Listing: Walking Squid, Flying Jellyfish, Sinking Shrimp, Crowing Crab
Personnel: Natsuki Tamura--trumpet; Elliot Sharp--soprano saxophone, guitar; Satoko Fujii--piano