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    Higuchi, Keiko – “Ephemeral As Petals” – [Utech Records]

    Higuchi
    Whatever Egyptian priestess’ soul possessed Diamanda Gala
    looks like she’s time-sharing with Keiko as well. Honest,
    I tried to delete my memory of Galas rumble-screech
    cocktail hour in hell piano blues/ballads when listening
    to this, but every time some defunct synapse would sprout
    a new axon. Higuchi is new to me, but apparently she’s made
    complicated music with folks from Merzbow to Alan Silva.
    She’s lithe but a force, check out the heavy improv at

    From that, guitarist Masami Kawaguchi shows up here on #2
    and #6, cool broken fingers on the frets. But Higuchi and
    her power-gargled, nasal-flaringhell bent laments over
    polished piano (its pedals are less ephemeral) are the
    the supreme focus. Drums attack her, and she slings them
    off. She sings in English some of the time, Japanese too
    and the rest…maybe it’s Klingon? Or Martian, but from
    the rough side of the red spot. Plus she’s either occupied
    by multiple spirits or perhaps multitracked, but I the
    listener was definitely outnumbered, even in the quieter
    moments. The mandatory cover of “My Funny Valentine” is
    about as straight as this album gets, but it still features
    plenty of menace. Great use of dynamics throughout, and an
    excellent surprise from the Utech label. How her stiletto
    heel tore off my ear lobe while listening, I still don’t know.
    -Thurston Hunger

  • Reviewed by Thurston Hunger on May 16, 2013 at 12:12 am
  • Filed as A Library,CD
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