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Not one to sell short his greatest talent, Bisk (aka Naohiro Fujikawa) titled his 1996 debut release Time. It was a revolution in digital music. Bisk treated the sampler and the sequencer with healthy disrespect, building up richly textured counterpoint only to tear it apart with a smirk and head on off elsewhere. His rhythms reflected as much hip-hop spunk as jazz swing.
Five years and three records later, Bisk still offers the same signature quirkiness and attention to detail. Moonstruck Parade makes substantially more use of the human voice (sampling, among others, a delicious female voice that's *very* Ella Fitzgerald). Strategically placed around bleeps, beats, and various sampled instruments, the human voice remains yet another thread in Bisk's tangled and evolving web of sound. Other textures making their presence felt on the new record: saxophones, steel drums, guitars, and scratches.
Moonstruck Parade generally follows a loosely swinging rhythm, constructed by the strategic arrangement of synth tones, drum machine noises, and lots of "clean" samples. When one element of the counterpoint wanders off, another sound creeps in to take its place. Or, just when you least expect it, Bisk breaks everything down and moves in another direction. At times actual linear melodies sneak into the mix, like the occasional child-like piano tinkering. But these melodies fade away as soon as they're found out.
The playful nature of this disc provides extra insulation against the twin evils of pretense and rigidity, which often ruin experimental electronica. But at the same time, Bisk's apparent sense of "just goofing around with the toys" betrays a frail self-consciousness... which is just what we like in our experimental music.
Track Listing: Blase; Shamrock in Your Eyes; Moonstruck Parade; Why Are There Such Variations?; Coyote/Sunbeam; Miss Lizzie; Splashy Girls; Mockup; Ticky Ticky Bang Bang; Cabaret; Shelly Crade; Nothing But Love Out of Her.
I was first exposed to jazz as a middle school band student. A college ensemble passed through and put on a concert for the band students (of which I was one). The level of mastery and musicianship blew me away, intimidated, and inspired me
I was first exposed to jazz as a middle school band student. A college ensemble passed through and put on a concert for the band students (of which I was one). The level of mastery and musicianship blew me away, intimidated, and inspired me. Try as I might, I was never able to achieve a high enough level of competency to perform at the level I was first and subsequently exposed to. Regardless, I was hooked on jazz and remain so to this day.