TETUZI AKIYAMA & ANLA COURTIS – Naranja Songs

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Tetuzi Akiyama, Anla Courtis: acoustic guitar

Two healthy musicians pull a somewhat half-baked beauty out of their instruments. In “Mind Mochileros”, a pregnant silence gives birth to everything, from the room’s stillness to the minuscular sparkles originating from the shifting of the fingers on the fretboard. The tunings highlight partials that tend to fight a bit among themselves, the relief furnished by sparsely distributed crystals: think of occasional rain drops gradually forming a puddle in which rarefied sun rays refract their light. The inharmonious qualities of the adjacent figurations are intelligibly gracile; even the few digital imperfections (read “dead notes”) do not prevent the music from sounding bewitchingly refulgent. The self-explanatory “Springs And Strings” is still ear-pleasing in its gratingly droning constitution, whereas “The Citrico Vibe” explores the superimposition of contrasting pulses besides offering alternatives in terms of dynamic plucking and contiguous resonances, all within a structure that could be vaguely delineated as minimalist (minus any mathematical frigidity). “Los Frets Nomades” closes this commonsensical album with more background hum and hiss hosting diverse types of angularity, this time mixing picked transparentness and raspy exhalations inside off-centre rhythmic designs. Ultimately the bowed components become quite nervous, acrid groans and moans growing in intensity over the final minutes. I guarantee that nobody will ever be able to vocally render a single phrase played during this encounter. Translation: Naranja Songs might very well represent an aurally enhancing test for a percipient typically overdosing on the sugar-coated traits of an acoustic guitar. And – in case you were not paying attention – it stands out as an excellent outing.

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