Not New Music Tuesday
Reiko Kudo - Rice Field Silently Riping In The Night (2001)
Reiko Kudo has been hovering around the Japanese underground music scene since the late 70s in various bizzaro music cults that have been so prevalent over there. I believe some of her best and certainly most accessible work has been recorded solo including this her second album from 2001. The will be a refreshing listen for those of you looking for some sparser, might I even say gentler music that does not get hung up on wimpy sentimentality. Rice Field Silently Riping In The Night takes the same approach to dissonant art pop that John Cale did on his equally bleak Music For a New Society. The album has a sparse and simple sound, the whole thing might have been recorded with one microphone plugged into a karaoke machine. The hypnotic repetition of rapping piano keys is Kudo's choice to accompany her beautiful, paper thin voice. There are a few other musicians present on the recording but only the slightest violin prick or whimper from a cymbal can be heard. The other players seem to walking on eggshells the entire album, as if playing anymore than two instruments at a time might be too much for Kudo's soul to handle. What it lacks in studio wizardry it makes up for with beautiful melodies and earnest musical exploration. Interestingly enough this album sounds VERY similar to The Pastels/Tenniscoats collaboration Two Sunsets which was featured on my end of the year best of for 09'. In case you may have forgotten Stephen McRobbie of the Pastels signed Kudo and her husband Tori Kudo's band Maher Shalal Hash Baz to his Geographic label which you could say attributed to their acclaim reaching outside of Japan. So if any of you actually heard that one and enjoyed it, you can see some of it's very obvious influences here.