Review: Harold Nono/Hidekazu Wakabayashi – Harold Nono/Hidekazu Wakabayashi

Harold Nono and Hidekazu Wakabayashi belong to the ever-growing list of artists who started as an online collaboration from their respective homes in Scotland and Japan. The partnership began with file sharing of piano pieces which gradually flowered into the fragrant instrumentals on this, their self-titled debut.

‘Family’ features aching guitar lines, plangent piano keys and sublime harmonies. Fulfilling the promise of its title, ‘Let’s Go Find Mushrooms’ is one of the more dreamlike offerings that is reminiscent of both Cornelius and The Beach Boys, whereas ‘I’ve Heard Giants’ and ‘Teenage Desk’ are all about twinkling lights and warm textures.

Some fragments are definitely “out there” though. Take, for example, the faded-in and out vocal samples for ‘I Wanted To Go The Party’ and its complete lack of song structure. The last few tracks retreat further for the avant garde with accordions and xylophones putting in appearances but it’s the spare elegance of the piano pieces (especially the haunting ‘Wild Blue Yonder’) which linger longest in the memory.

Despite some odd moments which don’t really come off, Nono and Wakabayashi complement each other’s talents very well. The fact that, for the most part, the results are very tuneful as well makes it a very easy record to listen to.

Web Sites:
Hidekazu Wakabayashi MySpace
Harold Nono MySpace
Bearsuit Records MySpace

Further Listening:
Cornelius, Malcolm Fisher


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