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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Kalimi: Otona No Kagaku (Silent Water, 2014) ****

By Joe

If there was ever a Zen record then maybe this is it? Kalimi is made up of Giovanni di Domenico (Fender Rhodes and electronics) and Mathieu Calleja (Drums), back with this excellent release of minimalist sound duos. Although the record is dated 2014 its taken awhile for the label, Silent Water Label, to put the record out. However, its a welcome addition to their excellent catalogue of contemporary jazz/improvised music releases which include GOING, reviewed earlier in 2015.

The sound and approach of Kalimi could be described as minimalist (although not in Steve Reich/Philip Glass terms). Built around the use of melody and punctuated noise (one could call it), is at moments truly hypnotic. The music is strongly based around developing the keyboard's ability to feedback and hold lingering sounds, along with drum beats which not only frame the music, but give the duo a direction. What makes the drum's approach so interesting is that Mathieu Calleja plays them in a relatively 'straight-ahead' manner, and not as abstract splashes of sound. This helps the music to build-up in an organic way and is in part what makes the music easily listenable, although clearly experimental.

Before saying a little about the music it seems (to me) that the record works well when heard as a sort of suit, and not as individual tracks. As record opens we are introduced to the delicate sound world of this duo. With tracks such as "forever high" (tk1) and "otona no kagaku"(tk6) the music hangs in the air ready to move in any direction. However, other pieces offer a more raunchy solution such as the brief "7.1" (tk2), or the fascinating "selfie my ass"(tk3), which much like a card player gradually revealing their hand, leads us into a dark musical territory. But nothing compares with the two heaviest pieces, the violent "b'hier" (tk4), and "9.2" (tk7), which jump straight in to surprise you with high energy sonic attacks, "9.2" is also the last track on the album which closes this excellent record.

Highly recommended to all who enjoy a mixture of jazz, noise and rock - a possible reference point (or 'tag') could be Supersilent?

For all those interested visit Silent Water's release page here, or contact Giovanni di Domenico directly here


Dan said...

Is Kalimi the name of the band or the album?

joesh said...

Whoops, thanks Dan, I wasn't paying attention when putting in the post title. Indeed Kalimi is the band, sorry for the mix up - its rectified now.