Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Tokyo Garden Suite

Richard Youngs & Andrew Paine "Tokyo Garden Suite"
Sonic Oyster

Tokyo Garden Suite is quite unlike most other collaborations between Richard Youngs and Andrew Paine, and it definitely feels like their most Frankenstein work to date. This single 31 minute piece has an air of conscious construction despite its assortment of weird ingredients. At its heart Tokyo Garden Suite is a bewildering soliloquy, one that’s touched by a slight shift in time or space. Words and phrases appear out of the blue, taken from their context and jumbled up. As the piece progresses the text is switched between narrators, and ends up making a form of exquisite corpse cut-up sense. With vocals handled by Youngs, Paine and Steve Todd (a Youngs collaborator from way back), this is a tale told and retold across the airwaves. The track’s roots can be tracked back to the duo’s 2009 release “Earth Rod”, its closing track “Tokyo Suite (Intro)” a brief taste of what was to come (and adding to the release’s endless/always was feel). There are perhaps imagined, perhaps tenuous connections with the constructs of some of the word visions of some of England’s other sons. Though the revelations here are more tied up and weirdly interlinking, it’s less oblique and Blakeian perhaps - but there is a strand of Englishness here. It’s very much an odd out-of-state piece musically too; the worlds that are usually invisible between sepia piano (an instant reconnect to the past), the jagged blunt/raw tones of feedback from Youngs and the sounds of the shakuhachi are linked across this narrative. Youngs and Paine playing instruments that makes for unlikely bedfellows in an unexpected but very effective musical menage-a-trois. 8/10 -- Scott McKeating (2 February, 2010)

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