Review of Dureé [12k1058]

Touching Extremes (IT)

Influenced by French philosopher Henri-Louis Bergson’s concept according to which “consciousness is a constant flow and not something that can be divided, reversed and measured” (how difficult, one thinks, reaching this conclusion must have been…), Durée sees Japanese quartet Minamo delivering a series of gentle pieces born from longer sessions of improvisation that were subsequently edited and mixed in a studio. Contrarily to their past work, largely based on a subtle use of electronics and computer, here Yuichiro Iwashita, Namiko Sasamoto, Keiichi Sugimoto and Tetsuro Yasunaga employ a larger quantity of naked instruments to attribute a bucolic temperament to the playing. The fundamental ingredients remain the ones we knew: artistic naiveté, unfussy melodies, a general mood of mild melancholy, similitude of certain tracks to others. It would appear like a fraud, but it is not. There’s a slight forlornness surrounding the music, yet at the same time the whole is perceived as a welcome presence. Despite its position well outside the canons of minimalism, the CD works nicely in that sense: it is inconspicuous and unobtrusive, without pretences and concealed meanings lying under the straightforwardness of the planning. And it’s just right when you want a little acoustic tenderness accompanying a good book.

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