For Tokyo-based musician Ueno Takashi, it seems like “efficiency” has never been the goal so much as “effectiveness.” For years, the venerable guitarist, composer, and (more recently) wonderfully charismatic video host for VICE Japan has been channeling his playfulness, humility, and curiosity regarding the textural, timbrel, and narrative boundaries of guitar-centric music of into a widening stream of distinctive releases and live-performance guises (e.g. his dozen-plus avant-folk releases as one half of Tenniscoats and scintillating one-off’s with Keiji Haino). Through it all, it has never felt like Takashi was eager to “pin-down” his aesthetic so much as…lightheartedly blow it to smithereens and start fingerpainting with its ashes.
And luckily for us all, he’ll have his chance to redouble those efforts on November 3, when his equally-blithe compatriots at Room40 conspire to unleash his latest solo album — the waggishly-titled Smoke Under The Water — upon our altogether too-somber world. In a press release for the new record, longtime friend, collaborator, and Room40 label boss Lawrence English maintains that Takashi’s latest effort “is easily the most beautiful record Ueno has made in recent years.”
“This record bares a close attention to detail,” English Continues. “That is not to say it is fussed over or seeking some kind of state of perfection. On the contrary, this is a record about performance, about taking a beautiful compositional idea and seeking to document it with the life and breath that is so critical to solo instrumental works.” Boom. Effectiveness. NOT efficiency.
Are you getting the idea yet? If not, check out this mystifying visual clip entitled “Sea of Instability,” soundtracked by music taken from the album, which TMT has the distinct pleasure of premiering today. But BE WARNED: once you’re duly hypnotized by its lapping, sprite-like arpeggios and oracular flashes of light and darkness, you’re extremely likely to waft that enchanted finger of yours over here to pre-order the full album without even thinking about it. (Not that you’ll be a the least bit sorry when you finally snap out of it…in about a week or two.)
Smoke Under The Water tracklisting:
01. Smoke Under The Water 1
02. Smoke Under The Water 2
03. Smoke Under The Water 3
04. Smoke Under The Water 4
05. Smoke Under The Water 5
06. Smoke Under The Water 6
07. Smoke Under The Water 7