Tara Jane O'Neil and Nikaido Kazumi | Tara Jane O'Neil and Nikaido Kazumi

K (2011)
By JIM MACNIE  |  June 29, 2011
3.0 3.0 Stars

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Working the ethereal side of the street is a risky business for musicians. If things get too wispy, the performance may seem slight. That, however, doesn't stop Tara Jane O'Neil and Nikaido Kazumi from keeping things on the dreamy end during this program of keenly sculpted abstractions. From whispered coos to plinked strings to fuzzed dissonance to thumping drums, the 13 tracks trickle along, offering a haphazard feel while simultaneously wooing with irrefutable design integrity. It's said that the Portland, Oregon-based O'Neil, with her math-rock past and freak-folk present, hurdled the language barrier by communicating with her Japanese partner using hand signals and sketched drawings. Sounds precious, but it certainly got the job done. O'Neil and Kazumi are in accord throughout, another reason their amorphous miniatures are so enchanting. There's something overtly twee about the novice vibe on the surface here — there are moments when the ladies sound like they're singing to themselves, not to an audience — but it ultimately reveals a valuable thesis: cleverly charted allusion can have just as much emotional clout as brash declaration. Prepare to spin a field recording from the inner sanctum. 

  Topics: CD Reviews , Music, Tara Jane O'Neil, CD reviews,  More more >
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