Taku Sugimoto
Quartet / Octet


4.0
excellent

Review

by MisterTornado CONTRIBUTOR (47 Reviews)
March 22nd, 2014 | 92 replies


Release Date: 01/27/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Turn the lights down

Take yourself somewhere quiet. Places within reach, like a little dimly lit 6:00am coffee shop with a complementary view of the sun’s tired morning gaze. Ideal fantasy places, like a pastoral hideout outside the busy shire that solemnly rests within a camp of your own creation. Or perhaps it's most ideal to remain in a place as conspicuous and effortless as your own bedroom. Wherever you find peace, experiencing Taku Sugimoto’s Quartet / Octet within it is quintessential. Recorded live at Kid Ailack Art Hall in Tokyo on October, 2013, Quartet / Octet finds Sugimoto and a team of skilled musicians exploring sound and space within two compelling compositions. This ensemble consists of Taku Sugimoto (guitar), Taku Unami (sinetones), Nikos Veliotis (cello), Kazushige Kinoshita (violin), Klaus Filip (sinetones), Ko Ishikawa (sho), Moe Kamura (voice), Radu Malfatti (trombone) and Masahiko Okura (clarinet). Each member here comes from a variety of classically and experimentally trained backgrounds that form a simultaneously strange, eerie, delicate, and singular experience with Quartet / Octet.

Opening things off is the brief two and a half minute prelude ‘Quartet’ which features Sugimoto on guitar, Unami on sinetones, Veliotis on cello, and Kinoshita on violin. ‘Quartet’ is a fragile and elegant piece that finds the four musicians evoking faint clouds of sound as they take turns playing little fractional melodies and distant subtleties that gently flow through one another into a wispy cloud of orchestral vapor. Throughout the piece Sugimoto’s guitar is heard plucking sparsely in the distance while Kinoshita’s violin lightly weeps, complementing Veliotis’ sustaining and high registered cello that keeps the mix skyward and afloat while Unami’s microtonal electronic tones are heard waving alongside. It’s an extremely sensitive sound that could score a wide range of emotions, like something as whimsical as a first kiss between lovers, or an aching goodbye within a long distance relationship; their love forced to withstand the pains of separation as a train leaves its station and obscures into a fog of uncertainty.

Following suite is the centerpiece ‘Octet’, an immense 31 minute piece that explores far more sparse and eerie sounds than its predecessor. Here the ensemble has picked up five new players (dropping off Kazushige Kinoshita on violin) that include Klaus Filip (sinetones), Ko Ishikawa (sho), Moe Kamura (voice), Radu Malfatti (trombone), and Masahiko Okura (clarinet). Beyond the sheer length and how disconnected and dispersed this composition is, the most notable difference here is the inclusion of Moe Kamura’s delicate vocals, which appear as sporadically as any other instrument, but coats the mix with an unsettling mysteriousness that’s difficult to pin down. Her voice acts as a faint human cry inside the octet’s labyrinth of bleak dissonance. Alongside these contraries, the twinkly glitter of Veliotis’ cello and Okura’s clarinet against Malfatti’s breathy trombone sustains and both Filip and Unami’s sinetones, ranging from hair rising highs to boisterous and droning lows, persistently punctures the mix in coarse contradictions and an overarching sense of sonic diversity.

The relatively low quality recording style of Quartet / Octet creates an even more ambiguous and murky experience that forces you to listen at a high volume to gather individual sounds and put it all together. Listening at this suggested volume creates for a sound that, while small and faint on the surface, often comes off in a large and sweeping manner that grants these quiet sounds an aural intensity that suits them best. Sugimoto’s compositions throughout Quartet / Octet work far more like collages of live instrumentation than the structured architecture that is typically yielded of orchestral music, focusing on the exploration of the physical traits of orchestral sound through multilayered fragmentation. Quartet / Octet is about finding your center within these scattered sounds and letting them take you away to its solemn and out-world trajectory, a place that’s unbounded by the norms of classical composition, yet accommodating and generous to anyone willing to loose themselves within Sugimoto’s whimsical trance.



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user ratings (5)
Chart.
3.2
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
March 22nd 2014


4507 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Been wanting to review this for a while. I couldn't find a clip to show y'all unfortunately, so use the review as an indicator of whether or not this is gonna get soulseek'd tonight

Havey
March 22nd 2014


9810 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

( : ♥

Digging: Billie Holiday - Lady Day: The Best of Billie Holiday

MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
March 22nd 2014


4507 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

;)

The system was trying to censor Kazushige Kinoshita's name at first l o l

Havey
March 22nd 2014


9810 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

oh yes i've encountered Kino***a before, he's in the Quartet review!



Calc
March 22nd 2014


12374 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

this is entirely too sluggish for me, great review as always though.

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
March 22nd 2014


15224 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

will czech

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MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
March 22nd 2014


4507 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

His violin is too raw for Sputnik's censors

StrangerofSorts
Contributing Reviewer
March 22nd 2014


2719 Comments


this sounds awesome, great review

treeqt.
March 22nd 2014


11656 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

YAS

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ShitsofRain
March 22nd 2014


5956 Comments


looks like my cup of tea

Havey
March 22nd 2014


9810 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

does it though

Havey
March 22nd 2014


9810 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this review is dedicated to GiaNXGX (RIP) hell yea bitch dis go hard as hell taku sugimoto i will suck
big dick team slut all day and week month year and century i love big naps D I C K S Q U A D


Gyromania
March 22nd 2014


16089 Comments


i hate to go against the grain, especially because you're one of my favourite writers on the site, but i'm not a huge fan of this review.

some of the descriptors seem awkward and the phrasings aren't accurate despite me knowing what you're trying to say. like, 'a place as conspicuous and effortless as your room' - i know exactly what you're saying (that staying in your room doesn't require you to exert any energy, thus effortless), but it reads like you're calling the room itself effortless. moreover, i would call said room inconspicuous if anything -- certainly less conspicuous than a coffee shop or anywhere outdoors really. think you may have meant inconspicuous?

there are a few other instances where i feel like the wording is a little forced, like when you say "Wherever you find peace, experiencing Taku Sugimoto’s Quartet / Octet within it is quintessential". quintessential feels contrived, like you wanted to say it and just threw it in. i think 'essential' would suffice and make it flow better.

i'm being nitpicky probably and you know ily tornado < 3

treeqt.
March 22nd 2014


11656 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

the classic critique into haha i still love you xD ranks quite high among my top cringes

treeqt.
March 22nd 2014


11656 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i guess im just massively autistic though

Gyromania
March 22nd 2014


16089 Comments


it's like a 'don't hate me because i harshly criticize' thing for the sake of approachability. judge me as you will

treeqt.
March 22nd 2014


11656 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

it's pretty unnecessary in my mind

Gyromania
March 22nd 2014


16089 Comments


again, approachability. the internet lacks tone, and i don't want to be regarded as some haughty critic.

MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
March 22nd 2014


4507 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

some of the descriptors seem awkward and the phrasings aren't accurate despite me knowing what you're trying to say. like, 'a place as conspicuous and effortless as your room' - i know exactly what you're saying (that staying in your room doesn't require you to exert any energy, thus effortless), but it reads like you're calling the room itself effortless. moreover, i would call said room inconspicuous if anything -- certainly less conspicuous than a coffee shop or anywhere outdoors really. think you may have meant inconspicuous?

I think your just reading it wrong, and even so I think the idea of a bedroom is effortless. It's the norm, its the commonplace, its the everyday ~ effortless. Whether or not you would call a bedroom conspicuous or inconspicuous depends solely on your perspective of said room, and in the context I used it within the review it is completely conspicuous and visible against a coffee shop or fantasy hide out. I meant it as a literal, that's easily definable and within viewpoint, rather than a figurative notion that would render it inconspicuous.

"quintessential feels contrived, like you wanted to say it and just threw it in. i think 'essential' would suffice and make it flow better."

I was actually considering using essential, but to me quintessential caught the eye more and demanded more attention. If you want to call that contrived, fine, but I disagree.

Winesburgohio
March 23rd 2014


1057 Comments


goddamn it such a dream-team line-up but Sugimoto squanders it fuck

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