Reviews

Ride a White Rabbit CD album

Yumi Hara Cawkwell & Sato Yukie (Tokyo: KOOTOWN Records)

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United Mutations

United Mutations http://united-mutations.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/yumi-hara-cawkwell-sato-yukie-ride.html

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I received this nice a little while ago. Even before the earthquake / tsunami / nuclear disaster in Japan.

On "Ride A White Rabbit" Yumi Hara Cawkwell (on keyboard and vocals) teams up with Sato Yukie (on guitar). The result is an album with seven psycheledic, improvised tracks, with the last track, 'Clinging Bogy' clocking in at almost 19 minutes.

The album title refers to T-Rex' "Ride A White Swan" and Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit". Add to this that the Super-Hakuto express train plays an important role in today's Japan (Hakuto = white rabbit) and that 2011 is the year of the rabbit, and you will understand that this is not a random album title.

Listening to the music on this album, is like entering another world. Improvised, avant-garde music gets combined with Yumi Hara's psychedelic sounding vocals. Intriguing to say the least.

 

SONIC CURIOSITY

http://www.soniccuriosity.com/sc482.htm

by Matt Howarth  

The Many Sides of Yumi Hara Cawkwell

 

This release from 2010 offers 58 minutes of avant garde music.

Cawkwell plays vocals and keyboards. Yukie (who is credited as the founding father of the Korean improvised music scene) plays guitar.

Extensive vocals are supported by moody organ and guitar effects.

With the exception of the title track, the lyrical content of these songs is in Japanese and adhere to classical Eastern stylings in which a single syllable can progress through a variety of notes of the scale.

The guitar exhibits a quirky presence, often providing vehement chaos that borders on melody but strives never to cross that line, remaining a churning aspect. But then (in track 4) Yukie switches to melodic performance with chords that glitter with electric gentility. And for the last song (an 18 minute epic) the guitar generates shimmering ambience punctuated by occasions of bent-stringed outbursts culminating in a passage of abstract intensity.

The keyboards lend a melodic layer to the churning agitation.

These compositions celebrate the year of the Rabbit with eccentric expressions of avant gardism. The vocals dominate a backdrop of minimal instrumentation which in themselves pursue abstract structures.

 

'Ride a White Rabbit' video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w2dR_NgVTT8

 

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