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ASAHITO NANJO GROUP MUSICA - Contemporary Kagura-Metaphysics
Fractal 027 (CD)


Aquarius Record website - List n°197, 24 September 2004 (USA) :

In addition to the great Toho Sara album Hourouurin we reviewed here last time, there's been another new Nanjo Asahito (also of High Rise, Mainliner, Musica Transonic...) and Kawabata Makoto (also of Acid Mothers Temple, Mainliner, Musica Transonic...) project recently released on the French Fractal label -- something called Contemporary Kagura-Metaphysics from Nanjo's Group Musica. What's that? Well the notes on the cd's back cover say the following, in part: "Group Musica is an ensemble that pursues the free use of every type of Western and Eastern musical instrument, is propelled by the vibrations of very subtle rhythms, and that has internalized the methodology of minimalism. The concept behind this album is transform Kagura, an ancient form of Japanese music and dance that was performed for the gods, and is to convert the ideas of 'Secret teachings' and ancient Chinese methods of divination (the I-Ching) into a metaphysics of musical vibrations. The concept of Kagura allows Group Musica to create a unique work that is an experimental symphonic composition, which nonetheless has many rich improvisatory elements. In this unique work, the symbolic/philosophical nature of ancient esotericism is incorporated as improvisation, while the I-Ching is related to avant-garde symphonics. These are then fused into a total concept."
OK, got that? We're also told the many musicans involved must remain anonymous for Group Musica is a "total entity". Not sure how that squares with Nanjo's name being emblazoned on the cover, but after all he's the conductor (with help from Kawabata in the structuring and arranging of the music). And what does all this sound like? Well, how 'bout fake 20th century classical improv? With four long tracks of abstract interplay of horns and percussive clatter and woodwinds and so forth, this is kind of like the endless tuning session of a somewhat drunken orchestra... the Taj Mahal Travellers and the Thai Elephants teaming up at the symphony? Sometimes dramatic, often droning, very loose !!!

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