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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Nakatani, Tiner, Drake - Ritual Inscription (Epigraph, 2012) ****½

 By Stef

A new trio, a new label, and the music is as fresh and unpredictable as you might expect. The line-up is unusual too : Tatsuya Nakatani on percussion, Kris Tiner on trumpet and Jeremy Drake on guitar and electronics.

The music is raw, open-ended and strangely enough, deeply emotional. Tiner has the incredible power to make his trumpet tone wail like Lester Bowie could, in an almost human-like fashion, stretching the tone, and then bending it upwards like a blues guitar string, or just - equally Bowie-esque, producing low bluesy grumbles alternated with crystal-clear joyful jubilation.

Drake's guitar does not sound like a guitar at all, most of the time resorting to sonic soundscapes of the harsher kind, with low-toned feedback and full reverb, or using gentle strokes to make strings sing. Nakatani too is a colorist, not a percussionist in the time-keeping sense, but an artist who creates sonic experiences by emphasising, thundering or by adding subtle touches or mad rattles. 

Despite the sometimes raw and dark atmosphere, the total sound is exceptionally beautiful and crisp, music that will grab you by the throat as well as make you dream. It's especially the contrast between both that makes this great art, the tension between Tiner's gentle humanity on the one hand, and Drake's horror-movie sounds on the other, with Nakatani embracing both ends of the spectrum, that make this performance really worth looking for.

 Highly recommended ... but only 500 vinyl copies available, so you'd better hurry.

© stef


kris tiner said...

Thanks Stef...

It's available at

Eron Rauch said...

Just picked up a vinyl copy — (Also Stef, Tim Berne had some nice things to say about you when I caught him at the Blue Whale in LA) — This album sounds really fascinating!