Taku Sugimoto

Opposite

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AllMusic Review by

Taku Sugimoto is well-known in his native Japan as an innovator and as an outsider. His spare, warm, exploratory music is a far cry from what's happening on the PSF scene or even with his former bandmates in Ghost, and it's not even in the same sonic universe as the music made by Ruins, the Boredoms, or Keiji Haino. Some might be tempted to call Sugimoto's music similar to Loren MazzaCane Connors' acoustic experiments, but only in spirit. Musically, there is little they hold in common. Sugimoto doesn't appear to give a rip about the blues here. On these 25 tracks, split between solo acoustic and electric guitar pieces, Sugimoto seems to be exploring the various spaces that a note and its resonating tone can inhabit. This is in keeping with the aesthetic aims of Noh plays, which offer the viewer a small glance at a larger issue, with all events arranged according to the performance space itself. On the electric works, he uses strange intervals and an arrhythmic phrasing that is oblique. His sense of time and harmonic invention is the key to his music, as he inhabits time for the sake of using the wide space of a note to rein the boundary of harmonics in closer, more intimately, and even tighter (listen to "Transylvania" or either of the "Spoon River" pieces). On the acoustic pieces, Sugimoto explores polytonality as it gives way into that same vibrational space. Yes, microtones are created in the process, but they are erased by the large spaces outside the guitar and traced over by the silence inside it. His techniques are varied, but all are employed to achieve the end represented by silence; if silence is the only space that music or sound can come from, then walls, surfaces, and even the open sky don't do anything but color it. Sugimoto is delving deeply and beautifully into the origins of sound -- and the manner in which the space it comes from can be altered or even deceived. This is a haunting, patient, quiet, and beautiful recording.

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