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Artist: KUDO, REIKO
Title: Hito
Format: CD
Label: Hyotan
Country: Japan
Price: $20.00
"The use of amateurism and error as a compositional device characterize the music of Tori Kudo, particularly in his group Maher Shalal Hash Baz. His wife, Reiko, is nowhere near as prolific (just two short albums in the last ten years) but her interests lead her more towards the pursuit of spontaneity and a considered naturalness. Both share a desire to jolt the experience of playing and listening to music out of stale routines and atrophied sensibilities ⿿ but through play and a haiku-esque close attention to daily life, rather than with a gun to the head. The albums are suffused with a warm, almost alchemical domesticity, rooted in the familiar rhythms of home, community and the seasons. Hito was recorded from summer through to early autumn 2005 and the drowsy heat of the season lies over it like a mosquito net. The hesitant vocals and piano that open its first track are underpinned by what initially sounds like the faint wow and flutter of a cheap tape recorder. Suddenly, as though a window has been flung open, the distortion is revealed to be the pylon-buzz of cicadas in the garden outside. As the sound rises to fill the room, the senses are beguiled, place, time and sensation evoked with the most minimal of means. Kusa sounds slightly stiffer as it takes us from autumn through winter, but on both albums the spare instrumentation is enjoyably creative, with kitchen-cupboard percussion, a vacuum cleaner, the sound of the rain and a gang of local kids on recorders melded effortlessly around the romantic flourishes of Toris piano playing. Reikos albums are always song-based, miniature wisps of melody that sound like something composed over the washing-up, the words perfectly balanced between observation and signification. Her voice has that childlike upper register of many Japanese female singers, but with a definite strength in the low notes. Most striking is her enunciation ⿿ the slightest tremor of hesitation, a lack of demonstrativeness that makes Vashti Bunyan sound like Whitney Houston, the voice pitched uncannily into an area where the exhaled breath seems to shimmer naturally into song. This is captivating and at times heartbreakingly emotive work." - Alan Cummings, The Wire June 2006

Artist: KUDO, REIKO
Title: Kusa
Format: CD
Label: Hyotan
Country: Japan
Price: $20.00
"The use of amateurism and error as a compositional device characterize the music of Tori Kudo, particularly in his group Maher Shalal Hash Baz. His wife, Reiko, is nowhere near as prolific (just two short albums in the last ten years) but her interests lead her more towards the pursuit of spontaneity and a considered naturalness. Both share a desire to jolt the experience of playing and listening to music out of stale routines and atrophied sensibilities ⿿ but through play and a haiku-esque close attention to daily life, rather than with a gun to the head. The albums are suffused with a warm, almost alchemical domesticity, rooted in the familiar rhythms of home, community and the seasons. Hito was recorded from summer through to early autumn 2005 and the drowsy heat of the season lies over it like a mosquito net. The hesitant vocals and piano that open its first track are underpinned by what initially sounds like the faint wow and flutter of a cheap tape recorder. Suddenly, as though a window has been flung open, the distortion is revealed to be the pylon-buzz of cicadas in the garden outside. As the sound rises to fill the room, the senses are beguiled, place, time and sensation evoked with the most minimal of means. Kusa sounds slightly stiffer as it takes us from autumn through winter, but on both albums the spare instrumentation is enjoyably creative, with kitchen-cupboard percussion, a vacuum cleaner, the sound of the rain and a gang of local kids on recorders melded effortlessly around the romantic flourishes of Toris piano playing. Reikos albums are always song-based, miniature wisps of melody that sound like something composed over the washing-up, the words perfectly balanced between observation and signification. Her voice has that childlike upper register of many Japanese female singers, but with a definite strength in the low notes. Most striking is her enunciation ⿿ the slightest tremor of hesitation, a lack of demonstrativeness that makes Vashti Bunyan sound like Whitney Houston, the voice pitched uncannily into an area where the exhaled breath seems to shimmer naturally into song. This is captivating and at times heartbreakingly emotive work." - Alan Cummings, The Wire June 2006

Artist: KUDO, REIKO
Title: Licking Up Dust
Format: CD
Label: Hyotan
Country: Japan
Price: $20.00
Newest release on Tori and Reiko Kudos (Maher Shalal Hash Baz/Noise/etc..) inhouse label. Backing Reiko this time around are TORI KUDO (organ, guitar), TERUKI TAMAYANAGI (bass) and KEIJI HAINO (guitar, drums and vocals!). "there are two songs about mountain, a song about butterfly and chestnut and loquat and so on.." - Reiko Kudo.

Artist: KUDO, REIKO
Title: Rice Field Silently Riping In The Night
Format: CD
Label: Periodic Document
Country: USA
Price: $13.00
"There are times when all the music your bruised psyche can take is the softest of whispers, the slightest of instrumental caresses. When an ounce too much pressure could make your veins cave inwards. At times like these, Reiko Kudos previous solo album ("Fire inside my hat", Org Records, 1997) has always been my balm of choice. A gauze-thin collection of songs with minimal piano accompaniment, sung in a voice half between a child and a deeply hesitant angel... For those who would rather trust a history lesson than their own senses, Reiko Omura, as she was known then, first came to light on the Tokyo underground in the late seventies and early eighties. She was part of the Minor circle (which also gave birth to Fushitsusha, High Rise, Kosokuya, Gaseneta and many others) of musical obsessives exploring new and highly personal collisions of noise, improv, rock. Reikos contribution was via groups like Worst Noise and Noise. The latters sole release, "Tenno", saw her trumpet and voice meeting the Bach-doom organ and drums of influential scenester Tori Kudo in a totally unique monument to no-wave noise depression. She later married Kudo, appearing occasionally with his avant-pop Christo-mystic idiot-savant group Maher Shalal Hash Baz, but releasing nothing under her own name until the Org disk in the late nineties. Rice field..." sees Reiko revisiting the pattern of short songs mostly based around one-finger piano motifs, so structurally simple as to be virtually transparent. This time additional flashes of sensitive instrumental colour are added by husband Tori and various members of the Puka-Puka Brians on wavering backing vocals, violin, guitar, percussion, euphonium and percussion. The music treads a sure and private path between a perfect childlike naivete and the amateur aesthetic that has long been Toris goal (he has spent twenty years arriving at a point of psychedelic mastery where he sounds like he bought his first guitar yesterday). Reikos songs and vocals are the weakly pulsing centrepoint though. She sings of life, dying flowers, love, and nursing home residents with the unforced naturalness of a mother alone with her child, a bird in the forest, her pellucid melodies seemingly accidental. It is nothing short of heart-stoppingly gorgeous. And as an honest-to-god example of happiness glimpsed through the quotidian, artistic perfection all the more perfect for not being striven for, you couldnt wish for anything more. A perfect prescription for those moments of fragility when you doubt your own pulse." - Alan Cummings. Highly Recommended!!

by artist / 0-9    A    B    C    D    E    F    G    H    I    J    K    L    M    N    O    P    Q    R    S    T    U    V    W    X    Y    Z    V/A \   by label