Yamamoto Seiichi

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Baptism Review

by Sean Westergaard

Baptism is the first purely solo recording by Yamamoto Seiichi. Those listeners familiar with his playing with the Boredoms, Omoide Hatoba, and ROVO may be in for something of a surprise: this is a very subdued, fairly jazzy recording. Seiichi plays with a very clean tone, adding only sustain at times. His playing is an odd mix: the clean tone and general melodicism bring to mind the Jim Halls of the world, but his use of extremely wide intervals and occasional extended techniques betray something of a debt to Derek Bailey. The key is that he never loses a sense of melody and knows the value of silence as a compositional tool. On "Half Tone" and "Step," he makes use of multi-tracking to accompany himself. He mostly sticks to a single-string approach but uses a more chordal style on "Humming" and "Nothing." Subdued and contemplative, Baptism shows a very different side to Seiichi.

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