CRISTIÁN ALVEAR / SEIJIRO MURAYAMA – Karoujite

Potlatch

It only takes a couple of elements – choices, if you so prefer – to establish if an album based on “minimal” characteristics belongs to a given category rather than a different one. Or, to quote Henry Silva in Amazon Women On The Moon, if we’re dealing with the eternal question: “bullshit or not”.

I will not reiterate how Karoujite translates since other reviewers were urged to immediately explain it, thus erasing any eventual hope of natural acquaintance between meaning and sonic property. More important, though, the record exudes seriousness and concentration. Which is a positive sign to begin with, if you’re not already coming from the womb of the acoustic spectra.

Because if you are, the first seconds of this disc will be enough to realize that the above mentioned “choices” – be them the outcome of preliminary searching, or less – were wise.

There are harmonics and harmonics, you know.

What I mean is: Alvear and Murayama managed to work in and around every single particle of upper partial they elicited from, respectively, guitar and percussion. They literally fixate on a precise spot for minutes and minutes, in the process of charging themselves to the point of becoming one with the very resonance born from those objects.

Think of a human bell tower tolling in timelessness.

The attitude towards the gestural side of an emission of waves is severe, rigorous. They appear like two young monks entirely captured by the memorization of a fundamental mantra that will remain within forever.

We, as listeners, aren’t offered options. This, as in many similar recordings, is a case of “either you’re into it, or not”.

It’s the music that determines your position; not the contrary.

A relatively big chance exists of someone suddenly interrupting the playback as the pecking of Alvear’s plucked strings on the cerebrum, together with Murayama’s bowing of cymbals and rubbing/fingering of skins, might originate out-and-out intolerance.

Getting all the senses in correct coordination could be a good idea before subjecting yourselves to this essential portrait of stark naked repetition. I’m willing to use another reference, this time from Cornelius Confucius Cardew: once the barriers of mental obstination are removed and everything is set to finally acknowledge the obvious influence of what cannot be taught by voice, Karoujite represents the proverbial great learning.

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