Quikion's odd instrumentation pays off on Kaprico, their third studio album. Previous efforts only hinted at the Japanese trio's potential. For Kaprico, gone are the toy-pop elements that attracted comparisons to Klimperei and Pascal Comelade. The music has grown more mature without losing its lightness. With an acoustic guitar, an accordion, a concertina, various hand percussion instruments, and Totoki Yukiko's charming voice, Quikion is weaving a different kind of folk music. The timeless quality of this music is further enhanced by the presence of a few traditional songs: "Chançonetta Tedescha" is a 14th century piece, while "Statt Opp Krestjan Støvelkraga" comes from the Norwegian tradition. The album also includes two traditional Sephardic songs. However, most of Kaprico consists of original compositions. The instrumental tunes evoke Fanfare Pourpour or Bratko Bibic, while the songs develop a "Merry Melancholy" quality (it's also the title of the last track on the album) that is strongly reminiscent of Lars Hollmer's music. Of course, any whimsical accordion music would probably warrant such a comparison, but Kaprico truly deserves attention from Hollmer's fans. Even though the songs are sung in Japanese, this is not Japanese music. This is world music in its most basic definition, as Quikion draws from Sephardic, French, Scandinavian, and even Spanish ("Bulerias on the Table") traditions. The twin-accordions-and-guitar lineup takes some getting used to, but it quickly becomes the perfect instrumentation to carry the group's delightful compositions.
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AllMusic Review by François Couture