Yasuaki Shimizu and David Cunningham - One Hundred [Staubgold - 2009]David Cunningham is perhaps best known for being the man behind the Flying Lizards, a collection of experimental and improvising musicians who against all odds had a hit with their quirky version of “Money.” Aside from that brief flirtation with pop he has being a very active as both a musician and a producer (A large number of the Michael Nyman soundtrack albums are produced by him).
Yasuaki Shimizu is also equally at home on either side of the mixing desk and has been performing as a musician and working as a producer since the 1970s.
The album they have released on the Staubgold label is a recording of a live performance at Super Deluxe in Tokyo back in December 2004.
It’s an album that needs to be listened to a number of times before you really get much of a grip on it. It’s incredibly laid back with David Cunningham laying down a bed of guitar, footpedals, delays and kalimba (an African percussion instrument) for Yasuaki to cover with some very spacious sax sounds. Cunningham’s sounds are very drone like, very slow and gentle and act as a perfect foil to the more staccato sax playing of Shimizu.
It’s not as one dimensional as that may sound there are moments were the intensity increases and the sax threatens to get more frenetic but the road to these parts is very long and very slow so you aren’t surprised by them, and they last a fairly short amount of time before you move back to a more sedate tone again.
It works well as a whole album and while I wouldn’t need to have more than a couple of albums like this in my collection I think it’s quite a strong recording.David Bourgoin