Ami Yoshida / Toshimaru Nakamura: Soba to Bara (2009)
Nakamura and Yoshida have been two of the more prominent and influential musicians of the group, so it is somewhat surprising to discover this is their first recording together. Unusually, when asked to make this CD they decided to record their contributions separately without reference to each other and then to combine them into one piece. Remarkably, given the circumstances, the contributions complement each other well and sound like coordinated, debunking notions of improvisers listening and reacting to each other.
Unlike some recordings from Erstwhile and its group of improvisers, which are often near the threshold of inaudibility, the music here is very outgoing by comparison. Yoshida's vocals have long had a pure quality to them. Here they are less pure and some may find them disquieting as the sounds conjure up images of violence, sexual abuse, and mental or physical illness. At other times, parallels with bestial noises seem most appropriate. In their ability to disturb the listener, Yeshiva's closest vocal rivals are currently Sankho Namchylak and Phil Minton.
A decade on from his initial ground-breaking work on no-input mixing board, Nakamura here demonstrates how he has grown and developed, employing multiple voices and over-layering to produce unexpectedly complex and satisfying soundscapes.
The album's single forty-eight minute track is ample to engage the listener and to provide a richly rewarding listening experience.
Track Listing: Soba to Bara.
Personnel: Ami Yoshida: voice; Toshimara Nakamura: no-input mixing board.
Record Label: Erstwhile Records
Style: Free Improv/Avant-Garde