Ikue Mori & Maja S.K. Ratkje
"A recording of live performances which brought together two essential figures of the contemporary scene: an oustanding Norwegian composer and vocal artist Maja S.K. Ratkje and a celebrated improviser and composer, former DNA drummer, Ikue Mori. The common sound territory, created together by Mori and Ratkje, balances between quietly growing tension and powerful outbursts of unrestrained, relentless noise. Within this harmony, Ratkje takes adventurous excursions towards the borders and unknown facets of sound, using treated voice as well as an acoustic and electronic workshop, while Mori's thoughtful laptop provides a strong frame and a sense of deep focus. In these carefully crafted, long and nuanced compositions, both artists maneuver between meditative, ritual areas and irregular, elusive noise blots. The most astonishing element of this superb performance is the realization that even though the compositions are entirely intuitive, created without any previous planning, guidelines or negotations, the listener can sense a nearly palpable sense of deep connection and understanding between the artists. Their knowledge and keen, immediate communication create an invisible harness, which naturally directs the stream of improvisation. This engaging, exhaustive listen is a contemplative retreat and a daring, dizzying somersault at once'. Olga Drenda"
Live at Big Apple in Kobe
""And the music does stay hot for long stretches during the two improvisations that comprise the CD. “Rainbow Elephant” slowly wends its way through passage after passage of astonishing sounds, following a slowly evolving path. There’s a continuous weave of sound—sparkling electronics; saxophone clicks and cries; textured, breathy drones on the trumpet; and subtle prepared piano timbres. The sound expands and contracts, dense one moment, open and airy the next. Fujii plays a long melodic arc with scintillating sounds dancing underneath. Later, Anker starts her own extended melody, supported and embellished by the others. “Yellow Sky” grows more directly from soft electronic flutters and breathy tones on saxophone and trumpet to become progressively darker and more agitated with hot raspy trumpet, rumbling piano, clattering electronics, and wailing saxophone. The album is one of the most sustained abstract performances in the Fujii discography. ""