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Minamo - Durée [12K - 2010]

Minamo is a well regarded post-rock oriented band from Japan who mostly use guitar or piano as the lead instrument alongside various electronic sounds, including the use of (from what I've heard) a Nintendo console.  This is a quartet that doesn't have a rhythm section, which is particularly unusual in post-rock, but seems more oriented for ambient music.

I was prepared to give Durée a bad review, but this record actually stands up well with repeated listening.  At first it sounds rather flat and lacking in dynamics, with only minimal notes from the guitar leading the way.  However, like a Clyfford Still painting, what looks monochromatic and unassuming at first reveals some startling textures and other surprises.  There's some noisy feedback on "Helical Scenery", for example.  And there's a shamisen (Japanese banjo) as the lead instrument on "Individual Synesthesia".

So don't expect much from Durée on first exposure.  But if you're willing to take the time to explore it more, these soundscapes do eventually work their magic.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Lawrence J. Patti
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