30 March 2011

TOMO – Butterfly Dream and Other Guitar Works (2010, Subvalent)

Seventy minutes of music for this solo project. Behind the alias TOMO (Transcendental Organic Magical Objective) we find a Japanese musician, living in Tokyo, who spent a few years at Missouri, discovering blues, country, bluegrass, ragtime, jazz, and learning to play guitar picking styles.

On "Butterfly Dream and Other Guitar Works" he mixes these influences with Middle Eastern, Asian and Indian raga folk music colors, playing mostly the 6 & 12 strings guitar, adding some singing and a few droning organ sounds. It is mostly a strict instrumental work, very intense and technical, relatively minimal and sometimes tending to something more psychedelic or even hypnotic. It reminds me of works by Steffen Basho Junghans, Alexander Turnquist, John Fahey or Loren Mazzacane Connors.

His wish seems to produce something authentic and vibrant and considering this, it is quite successful 
but also it isn't something completely original at first listen, as most of the impact seems to be on the interpretation. 

But slowly as you spend time with this record you become aware of a personnal vision, which amalgamate many directions but which slowly develop itself too through the process.

Even if the artwork seems relatively dark and nocturnal, the main direction of this album would be its greenness and forestry qualities, deep under foliage, along sources and rivulets, over moss and occasional clearings, you wander, during late spring season, always attentive though progressively disconnected from the passing of time.

The length of the record, 70 minutes, can be overwhelming and along the minimalist approach, you can feel sometimes lost, walking in circle through the forest.


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