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Michi is a trio led by computer performer Taku Unami, a musician who had released several performances in a freely improvised context prior to this one. In Norma (presented here in two versions, recorded several months apart), he deals with composition, the trio clearly operating from some sort of score. It's an uneasy fit, juxtaposing stiff percussion parts with more abstract guitar and electronics. The percussionist, Masahiro Uemura, is required to play snare rolls, various quasi-martial rhythms, and prosaic rock and funk beats, all of which sound constricted as well as arbitrary. When Unami's computer burps on top of the proceedings, there's a sort of silliness that's more aggravating than ingenuous. While Tsuguto Tsunoda's guitar work provides some of the more rewarding sounds during the first, longer track, the piece in its entirety remains stubbornly clunky and disjointed. The second, shorter version fares somewhat better, coheres a bit more, and right at the end includes some lovely, fascinating guitar playing, but still lurches back into the metronomic patterns that make the album a rather tedious affair. Listeners are much better advised to begin investigating Unami with his improvised recordings, wherein he shines.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
feat: Taku Unami
feat: Taku Unami
blue highlight denotes track pick