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Album Review

Claus, Gaspar – “Jo Ha Kyu” – [Important Records]

Muad'Dib   8/20/2013   A Library, CD

Jo Ha Kyu, roughly “beginning, break, rapid” in English, is a central concept of traditional Japanese artwork. Adherents feel that all artistic work should begin slowly, break into a higher speed, and end rapidly. The title track begins slowly with wind through instruments, high-frequency hum, soft singing and piano plinks. Tensely coiled silence which builds slowly into some vocal work reminiscent of No Theater (if a little more musical) and beautiful electric cello arpeggiation. Following the break we accelerate into an instrumental noise freakout that ends rapidly into static silence. Tracks 2 and 3 recapitulate some of the instrumentation and sonic ideas but less of the song structure from the first track.

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