Dustin Wong & Takako Minekawa: Savage Imagination (Thrill Jockey, 2014)

September 19, 2014 at 2:56 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Dustin Wong & Takako Minekawa: Savage Imagination

Dustin Wong & Takako Minekawa: Savage Imagination

Second collaboration album between former Ponytail guitarist and J-Pop starlet. Has the types of lush, circular guitar looping arrangements you’d expect from Wong’s solo stuff, plus the drum machines and vocals of his more recent work. Although it actually seems a little lighter and less mind-bending than some of his last few efforts, but it’s subtle, it takes time to listen to it and absorb everything. It’s definitely not as poppy as Takako songs like “Fantastic Cat”, so don’t expect that type of a cutesy sugar rush. The vocals actually aren’t that noticeable for much of this album, they seem to function as an instrument rather than for lyrical purposes. The tracks all flow together and it’s hard to really pick out highlights, but “Dioramasaurus” has a guitar melody that sums up the album pretty well and ends up burrowing its way into your head. “Dancing Venus Of Aurora Clay” starts with lots of clapping before the guitars spiral in and the drum machine kicks in. “Dimension Dive” is a 3-part suite, and part 1 has another guitar melody similar to “Dioramasaurus”, but with lighter beats. “Luminescent Earth Traveler” has some vintage-sounding drum machine beats mixed in, along with lots of really playful sounds. The whole album is fun and relaxing and enjoyable, and they’re playing the MOCAD on November 9, so that will be incredible, and a rare opportunity to see Minekawa, I have no clue if she’s ever played Detroit before.

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