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“Tokyo quartet Minamo occupy a privileged place in the Japanese music scene.
They remain one of the few ensembles to consistently produce work that simultaneously refines and expands upon their existing themes and aesthetics. Their largely improvised interactions have produced a collection of recordings that benefit equally from considered listening amongst the groups members and a willingness to stray from the path without warning.
Documental, their new edition (a follow up to ‘A Path Less Travelled’ collaboration with Lawrence English published by Room40 in 2010) sees Minamo move into a curious and somewhat unorthodox sonic terrain. Whilst still exploring detailed textures and understated melody, this record bares witness to a more freeform, almost playful, quality to their exchanges.
Each of the group’s members have opened their palette, soaking up audio like ink and gently pressing their sounds on the sonic canvas. The impressions left create a matted web of sound as one layer overlaps against the next creating a floating, hypnotic quality. Pieces like ‘Bound Letters’ bare the marks of this interaction – it’s shape a gently coiling journey charting across percussive motions through into deep pastural harmony.
Minamo’s Documental is just that – a true rendering of the approaches and sonic interests that have earned this quartet such a strong reputation. It’s resolution and reformation all in one musical gesture.
Documental is edited and mastered by Lawrence English.“