see also... Brian Eno
This collaboration between eclectic guitarist Bill Nelson and Japanese musician Yumiko Morioka does what it says on the tin. It's a mish-mash of instrumental styles, worldy, Western classical and digital pop. The casual style-hopping is evident from the first track, which jumps from sitars and disaffected-sounding Japanese female vocals to Nelson's pumping guitar and Talking Heads-lite vocals.
It's not wildly experimental. A lot of this is a stone's throw from TV incidental music, but intelligent, well-written TV music all the same. Littered with synthesised harp and piano, it's easy on the ear. Tunes seem to be borrowed or adapted from all over the place, including John Williams, Tangerine Dream and Pachelbel. It sometimes reminds me of Pat Metheny's digital stuff, with a produced-sounding guitar presence.
"Housewives on Drugs" is a peculiar, cute in a Japanese sort of way, mix of perky violin solo, harp and guitar. "Four Postcards Home" forms a strong centrepiece, its watery colours and delicate ambient minimalism recalling the Orb's debut. But although the album is colourfully arranged, the constant feel of positive new-agey inspiration does tend to dominate.
March 19, 2005