Guest post by Ian Hinton-Smith
Jazzy, dubby, experimental, ambient, joyous, meditative and so much more. Fans of Mariah’s Utakata No Hibi will be visiting familiar territory here, as Shimizu is also the brain behind that long-awaited reissue from Palto Flats. There’s the same simplicity and attention to detail present on Kakashi and, having been released a year before Utakata, it appears to have been a learning exercise for Shimizu.
For starters, check out the repetitive marimba lines weaving throughout the space-jazz-dub of “Umi No Ue Kara” (a personal favourite) for a whole eight minutes, acting as bamboo scaffolding for drips of guitar and Shimizu’s sax lines which drift around it like a fine mist. Total masterful simplicity.
Elsewhere, expect ambient tracks that suddenly drop into a backstreet Chicago jazz club with dueling brass stabs and hand claps, only to drift out into smoke; abstract 8-bit sampling that could, frankly, send you a bit la-la until it flings you out into cosmic piano territory; uptempo psychedelic drama-ska; and, ultimately, the sound of Mongolian farmers having a stab at Arabic jazz!
Despite sounding a bit all over the place, there’s enough of a thread throughout Kakashi to bind it all together, and after only a couple of listens, I promise you the pieces fall into place.