Boomkat Product Review:
Exquisitely bittersweet free folk songcraft by Japanese improv legends Reiko & Tori Kudo of Mahar Shalal Hash Baz, adding to the illustrious roll call of A Colourful Storm’s recent, flawless run - RIYL Noise, Keiji Haino/Fushitsusha, Tenniscoats
Collecting nine songs of a ten year+ vintage, ‘Tangerine’ is as effervescent, tactile and tangy as its name suggests, presenting a “deeply human, romantic recording” that highlights the remarkable versatility, and strength in fragility, of two key players in Tokyo’s incredibly fecund experimental scene. Previously only available on a domestic CD release, the album is also notably Reiko and Tori’s last duo recording, marking the 30 year culmination of their work since their first release, as Noise with ‘天皇’ (1980), with a clear testament to their intimate familiarity - they are married, after all - oozing out of every song; from the outstanding transition from tremulous folk to string dissonance on ‘The Deep Valley of Shadow’ thru the heart strumming blues folk gurn of ‘When Seeing the Setting Sun Alone.’
Recorded during autumn, winter and spring 2011-2012 at Village Hototoguiss - a bucolic studio setting near a spa in the Japanese countryside - and also including one song record at Cafe Oto in 2009, the album feels like we’re privy to a private musical convo between lovers. Each song strikes the finest balance of puckered sweetness and intuitive rawness, each speaking to a lifelong immersion in the punk/psych/folk/free realms, as exemplified on the radical subtleties of ‘Katakana’, which exerts the uncanniest spin on smoky jazz and wizened folk, while ‘Homeless’ plays it beautifully straight for the most, but can’t help but express their slant in its closing strokes of ratty discord, and the title tune itself most curiously elides a sort of Eastern European folk tone with etheric jazz vox in the most spellbinding style.