Ayuo

Red Moon

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    9
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AllMusic Review by

This album is so beautiful and beguiling it's difficult to put into words. Ohta Hiromi has a wonderful clear voice, accompanied by Ayuo on all manner of guitars, but that hardly tells the whole story. All the acoustic guitars give an almost folky feel, but all the wah-wah, fuzz, and sitar-guitars impart a nearly psychedelic edge at times. Violin, mandolin, and/or percussion are added on a few tracks, but it's mostly just voice and guitars. The arrangements are impeccable, and the tunes seem to have a familiar feel to them. The lyrics are taken from a multitude of sources, from a 13th century Zen Buddhist philosopher to Rumi, the well-known Sufi poet, to Nikos Kazantzakis, who wrote Zorba the Greek. Almost everything is sung in Japanese (there is a little English), which juxtaposes nicely with the music, creating a sensation of both familiarity and utter uniqueness. This is a recording that transcends borders, styles, and even description. Highly recommended.

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