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Album Review

Tsurubami's vaguely amorphous existence — unsurprising given how members Emi Nobuko, Higashi Hiroshi, and Kawabata Makoto are known for many other efforts, the latter two for Acid Mothers Temple in particular — seems to suit the flowing, soaring, psychedelic zone of this album well. Consisting of two lengthy improvisations, Gekkyukekkaichi was a bit of companion to the similarly recorded and released Tsukuyomi Ni from earlier that year, and both show that for the musicians it's not so much a question of side projects as it is a different approach. With Makoto on guitar and Hiroshi on bass, the former sets the tone of each performance while the latter drifts, sometimes barely audible, down below in the mix. In contrast, Nobuko throws herself in and out as she feels the need — sometimes minutes of swirling electricity will pass before her quiet fills and rolls start cropping up more thoroughly in the mix. The title track opens on what seems like straightforward exultance, Makoto's guitar reaching up and out like Matthew Bower sometimes does in his Sunroof! work as opposed to trying to blow minds. But things get notably queasier ten minutes in, the trio just as apt to disturb a mood as much as it is at maintaining it. "Seiitenrinengi" continues in pretty much the same vein, but possibly with more violence as well as more prettiness. After a false ending, the group concludes with an extended coda that again centers around Makoto's relentless but never quite repetitive guitar textures and feedback treatments. If Gekkyukekkaichi ultimately seems more of Makoto solo with accompaniment than a band production as such, it's still good listening for those taken by his work in general.

Gekkyukekkaichi, Tsurubami
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