Yoshihide Otomo

Monogatari/Amino Argot

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Monogatari/Amino Argot is a type of collaboration only made possible in the late 20th century. Japanese composer Otomo Yoshihide created a work (largely a sound collage utilizing scraps of material from diverse genres as well as found sound and electronics), put it on disc, and mailed it to San Francisco. There, it was received by Carl Stone, another composer noted for his elaborate work with samplers (see his beautiful album Mom's on New Albion), who proceeded to use it as source material for his own composition. He then sent the new work back to Yoshihide, who adapted that work. Back and forth this process went, yielding six compositions whose origin is the same even as the final results vary wildly. As a rule, Stone's contributions are somewhat smoother than Yoshihide's, as befits the semi-ambient style for which he's known. The latter, on "(Travel Theory)," throws in a dub-like rhythm, overlaid with random phone conversations and whistling electronics, making for a sublimely chaotic and grooving work. Stone picks up this riff on the ensuing "Do a Kurd Initiation," gives it a sharper edge, then sends it skidding into space, multiplying until it becomes a whooshing blur. This is a pretty fascinating transcontinental dialogue between two superb musicians, with enough meat and complexity to satisfy any new music fan. Recommended.