(All Album Reviews by avestin)
Tatsuya Yoshida with Igor Krutogolov and Assif Tsahar - Live In The Head, Tel Aviv 2006 (Auris Media, 2008)
This release is a recording of a live show from 2006 in Tel-Aviv (Israel) and features 14 tracks. The first 6 are improvisations by the Tatsuya Yoshida along with Igor Krutogolov (from Kruzenshtern and Parohod) and Assif Tsahar. The other 8 tracks are Tatsuya Yoshida playing alone and are his compositions/improvisations.
The first part played by the three musicians is a frenzied crazy mix of Zorn-esque madness on the sax played by Assif Tsahar and Ruins insanity in the rhythm section played by the mighty Tatsuya Yoshida on drums (and also guitar, keyboards, sampler and vocals) and Igor Krutogolov on bass (and also drum machine, vocals and various objects). Add in also insane vocals, which sound to me as gibberish, chanting in and out of the music. Not only hyperactive playing all the time, there are also some more abstract segments where the trio creates eerie moods and sounds that sound as if they are conjuring up ghosts in a ritual. However, there is no stop to the flow of the music. Those improvisations sound very coherent and as if pre-planned. The three musicians seem to get each other’s vibes and style very well and sound as if they’re used to play with each other naturally and regularly. There are wonderful bits where Yoshida’s drumming is intense and angular and Igor’s bass is raw and aggressive sounding and Assif’s tenor sax complements them very well with its nutty sound (“Improvisation II” is a great example of this). There are some weaker moments, more predictable in nature and less interesting such as in the opening part of “Improvisation III” (first 4 minutes) which sounds like something you’ve heard before and lacks a certain spark or enthusiasm that the other tracks have. It gets better and more interesting as the playing goes on and the lunatic vocals appear at the front of the music and lead them interacting with the saxophone’s playing but as a whole this is a weaker, less appealing track in here. But luckily it is not the case for the most part of the music on here and it will be a thrilling wild adventure for those who like this style and free form sort of avant-rock and jazz. The most captivating for me are the highly dynamic and unrefined patterns and chops from the bass and drums; they boast an intensity and even catchiness to them that is the key to the magic of this release and sits at its core.
An interesting change in sound comes in the 6th improvisation where effects and keyboards come in and add another layer to the mix, adding to the volume of the sound and to its oddness as well.
This second part of the album is a non-stop playing, continuous musical journey that “visits” several moods and atmospheres, from fast and insane (first three tracks in this part for example) to slow eerie and calmer landscapes (3 first minutes of “Untitled II”) to very peculiar and zany experimentations (last 5 minutes of “Untitled II”) to more melodic parts that remind me a bit of Pochakaite Malko’s first album (“Olovela”).
It has a more whole sound that might remind of Koenjihyakkei as well as Ruins with its avant-rock and slightly zeuhl-ish leanings. It portrays fabulous playing and high level intensity and energy; moving fast from segment to segment, from fast to slow, from “deranged” to more “tame”. All instruments played form a wonderful “symphony” of sounds, making this a entrancing listening experience. It is astonishing to hear him play like this, creating hypnotic repetitive sounds and effects with the keyboards, alongside the brilliant drum playing.
This second part is in my opinion the main reason to get this release. It contains brilliantly played music and awesome compositions that are ear candy to me as a fan of this style of high-level intensity and madness.