Trippy cinema for the ear, placing solo piano recitals of Satie in alternately, subtly and viscerally amorphous environments - a surreal, oneiric improvisation between Maher Shalal Hash Baz mainman Tori Kudo (工藤冬里) and inventive DJ/mixtape compiler Kayo Makino, snuffled from the Japanese undergrowth by Oren Ambarchi’s Black Truffle
Hatched to be played between acts at the launch of Eiko Ishibashi’s smoky gem ‘The Dreams My Bones Dreamed’, the two sides of ‘Ein Traum für Dich’ see Makino manipulate Kudo’s recordings of Satie’s 1897 work ‘Pièces froides’ and a solo piano recital with techniques ranging from subtly heady to keening, noisy and physical in their tactility and effect. Frankly it’s a fucking weird record, with one side making us feel as though somebody spiked our coffee this morning, while the other lures listeners into a sticky gooch between swaggering piano blues and seasick Japanese noise.
Effortlessly smudging the line between prosaic and poetic, the duo’s A-side effort ‘Pianoise “Satie: Pièces Froides, Movement 2: Dances de Travers - No. 1 en Y Regardant À Deux Fois” is a mouthful of a title but cannily light on the ears. To a backdrop of cicadas, the piece kicks off with the sound of glass perfunctorily smashed before Kudo launches into the Satie piece, where, after a few minutes, he’s joined by a phantom set of hands which double up the piece, as though a glitch in the matrix slips time of joint and highlights the lurking dissonance of the everyday. Some may call it just wrong, but the effect is deliciously trippy to these ears, and when it’s joined by the sound of a heavy downpour outside, eyes will be slipping to half-mast and its surreal, synasethetic immersion is completed with a cinematic passage of german vocals.
‘Pianoise “2018.12.1 or Last Super Flux”’ echoes that surreality on the B-side but with a more explicit sort of psychedelic wrench. To a backdrop of sepia-steeped strings and bird calls, Tori Kudo follows his nose with featherlight piano strokes in the model of Satie for the opening minutes, before Makino chucks a digital spanner in the works with a severely down-pitched, unidentifiable song that dominates the upper registers over Kudo, sounding like an errant tab playing a YT video off a browser window, or some nuisance neighbour trying to upset the atmosphere. It’s both funny, surreal, and transfixing in the oddest, aleatoric way, and symptomatic of that space between worlds that we all occupy, maybe without realising.