Tokyo quartet Minamo occupy a privileged place in the Japanese music scene.
They remain one of the few ensembles to consistently produce work that simultaneously re- fines and expands upon their existing themes and aesthetics. Their largely improvised interac- tions have produced a collection of recordings that benefit equally from considered listening amongst the groups members and a willingness to stray from the path without warning.
Documental, their new edition (a follow up to ‘A Path Less Travelled’ collaboration with Law- rence English published by Room40 in 2010) sees Minamo move into a curious and some- what unorthodox sonic terrain. Whilst still exploring detailed textures and understated melody, this record bares witness to a more freeform, almost playful, quality to their exchanges.
Each of the group’s members have opened their palette, soaking up audio like ink and gen- tly pressing their sounds on the sonic canvas. The impressions left create a matted web of sound as one layer overlaps against the next creating a floating, hypnotic quality. Pieces like ‘Bound Letters’ bare the marks of this interaction - it’s shape a gently coiling journey charting across percussive motions through into deep pastural harmony. Minamo’s Documental is just that - a true rendering of the approaches and sonic interests that have earned this quartet such a strong reputation. It’s resolution and reformation all in one musical gesture.