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Nu Frequency

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Album Review

Guitarist Yamamoto Seiichi is well-known as having done his part for the "further future assault" sound of the Boredoms, and is perhaps well-known to those devotees of the Kensai rock scene as leader of the amazing Omoide Hatoba and Rovo bands. No matter how well-known or obscure to noise rock cultists, Seiichi's first solo effort, Nu Frequency, is beyond the reach of any of his other projects. A multi-textured, atmospheric exercise in rock, ambience, improvisation, and dynamic, Nu Frequency is equal parts Bill Frisell-style jazz (the ECM days), the Jimi Hendrix of "Moon Turn the Tides (Gently, Gently Away)" from Electric Ladyland (in fact all of side three), and the Miles Davis from In a Silent Way. You get the idea. Seiichi is an experimentalist with a plan, and that plan is creating spaces and terrains for solo and group improvisation that he hasn't ever entered into on recordings before, revealing a more contemplative approach to his playing without being ponderous or pretentious. Certainly, this is a quirky record and not without its share of chaotic violence, but even that is layered and restrained in the name of weaving a series of threads that offer a quilt of many sonic elements. Perhaps there is no better example than "Accelerations," which is almost ten minutes in length and goes from sparse guitar-like dreamscapes to ensemble jazz explorations in a groove-ish key and gives way to quiet feedback before morphing into the gorgeous "Seed," an exercise in scalar inversion and ensemble interplay. No matter how you slice it, Seiichi's Nu Frequency is one of the best titles to be released in Tzadik's New Japan series. By far.


Born: 1958 in Amagasaki, Japan

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s

Yamamoto Seiichi has been an active part of the underground Osaka music scene since the late '80s, not only as a musician, but running the music club Bears and heading his own label as well. In addition to founding Omoide Hatoba, he has performed with ROVO and the Boredoms for many years (on the noisy end of the spectrum), as well as with more pop-oriented groups like Shonen Knife and the Playmates....
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Nu Frequency, Seiichi Yamamoto
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