Koji Asano Takoyakikun

For Koji’s remarkable 37th release over the last ten years, Takoyakikun actually dips back into his archives to the year 1997. Playing alongside long time collaborators, drummer Hisashi Nagata and keyboardist Isao Otake, this suite was recorded close on the heels of Gravity, which was his Solstice label’s third release. The trio plays an alternating current of electric progressive rock which switches from pinpoint accuracy to a sloppier, bluesy approach akin to ’80s Magic Band. Koji’s guitar twins either the rhythm track or electric organ/piano in places before riffing up, up and away into its own airspace. The keyboards have a vintage ’70s feel that makes the recording seem much, much older. Most of the eight untitled pieces have a similar feel that comes from them being part of a suite. The exception to this rule is the sixth track that overturns the dominant Western power rock idiom and adopts an Eastern mode with brushed percussion, acoustic piano and especially Koji’s high noted alteration of the guitar to simulate an especially vibrant koto. Following this release Solstice promises other periodic journeys into the recorded past. (Solstice)