COYOTE CD, Import
|価格:||￥ 2,200 通常配送無料 詳細|
2003年に結成され、JAZZの素養を持ったハードコア・エクスペリメンタル・バンドとして激賞され、John ZornのTzadikから1stアルバムをリリースしてからその神秘性と独特で壮大な世界観で多くの人々を魅了し続けてきたKAYO DOTがHYDRAHEADより最新4thアルバムを2010年4月にリリース。
初期CUREやFaith And The Muse、Bauhaus、Herbie Hancockのようなクラシカルなサイケ的要素を現代的な音へと彼等なりに昇華させたサウンドはHCの素養・JAZZの素養も含まれる独特なもの。CandiriaのトランペットプレイヤーであるTimをフューチャリングし、アルトサックスとバイオリン、キーボード、ピアノ、オルガン、ベース、パーカッション、ギターを巧みに利用た音の一つ一つは全く妥協のない、もう完璧としかいいようのない最高傑作として仕上がっている。
"Help me, I'm disappearing
The doors are breathing
Floorboards are bowing "
For those who haven't heard (or heard of) Kayo Dot, they're essentially a... well, actually, capturing that essence of what they are has seemingly eluded every critic (whom I've read) who has tried to pin them down. Calling them a progressive, avant-garde, experimental rock/modern classical band is probably as close as you can get, and if such an umbrella definition seems much to wide to be of much use, it probably is, but I'm not sure how to do better. The band was formed by ex-Maudlin of the Well member Toby Driver and it seems to be largely his brainchild. Driver's connections to the metal world is probably what got Kayo Dot initially labeled as a "metal band", even though they rarely fit the description (even on Choirs of the Eye, which had the most "metal" moments of any of their albums). Most of the time their music is minimal and atmospheric, concerned more with alien textures than recognizable melodies, rhythms, harmonies, or song/compositional structures. On first (and maybe second, third, fourth, etc.) listen, the approach can easily give their albums an inchoate feeling; as if they're just collections of ideas rather than coherent, complete works.
Given the nature of Coyote and its inspiration, that lack of ostensible coherency has never been more poignant and apposite than here. Kayo Dot's undulating amorphous sonic soundscapes are perfectly suited to capturing the chaotic freedom of dreams and, just like dreams, they also serve to express emotions in abstract, symbolic forms, rather than anything that's immediate and tangible. Calonyction Girl's opening is indicative of this; a long, plaintive, monotone cello is accompanied by an ascending bass lick, with the last several notes of the bass accented with percussive chimes. A violin soon swells to join in, and soon everything fades except the unwavering cello and the reverb from the bass. The pattern repeats with periodic drum beats, odd, indefinable sound effects. Horns and other instruments eventually join to create dissonant harmonies, the cello and other strings occasionally vary up and down. The piece builds in this mode for nearly 3 minutes until an actual drum beat kicks in, which disperses the other instruments to go off and do all kinds of crazy things. Not that the beat provides any sense of stability, as it frequently changes as well.
In a way, this description, which only covers about 4 minutes of music, is indicative of much of Kayo Dot's M.O. They compose--really compose, rather than write--music that is always changing, always evolving. They rarely, if ever, provide any sense of musical solidity, any anchor for a listener to hold onto throughout the length of a piece. Any such things that appear are mere illusions, red herrings, and, if they really do exist, are almost always brief. Kayo Dot even regularly subvert the notion that music must build to some kind of emotional climax. The pieces occasionally build, but the payoffs rarely seem to come in an obvious manner because they exist in unrecognizable forms. Rather, it's the abrupt changes, increased textual layering, tonal juxtapositions, and, above all, the impressionistic aesthetic itself that's the heart and soul of Kayo Dot's music. It's a style that's extremely demanding on the listener, requiring nothing less than one's full concentration to reap the benefits. If you drift, or only listen with a cursive ear, you're doomed. The pleasures, or perhaps I should say "experience", that awaits attentive listeners is an odyssey into vast and strange aural lands.
All of this, and I feel I've done very little to describe Coyote as a unique album in itself, but that's inevitable. It's hard to really analyze such music because you can't really resort to tried-and-true terms that capture large chunks of it concisely. For music that requires such careful, attentive listening, it would require even a greater effort to translate what's happening at every relevant step into words. But I'll try to paint with as broad strokes as possible without losing the essence of the music. At 11:13, Whisper Ineffable may be the centerpiece of the album. It consists of four distinct sections, with its first three minutes consumed with a haunting brass section that seems to take on the role of the strings in the first track. The first major development comes at the 3:10 mark when a rolling drum fill begins backing Driver's tortured vocals, with the brass section and a pulsating bass accompanying him. As always, there are many modulations until this section literally collapses in on itself in a torrent of drums, brass, and primal screams. As it falls away at 6:55, the next section involves a mass of dissonant, monotone strings and brass which are periodically punctured by a descending bass lick and drums. From about 9:00 onward, the drums recede and the other instruments take on a more melancholy tone as they dance around each other in evocative, shifting harmonies.
The short Abyss Hinge 1: Sleeping Birds Sighing in Roscoluz is a cacophony of swirling drums, an echoing bass, and abrasive guitar effects and distortion. The drums do seem to provide a brisker feeling until it dissolves at the 3:05 mark and the subtle interplay between the brasses and silence carries the track into part two. Abyss Hinge 2: The Shrinking Armature opens with a surging, single toned horned section, almost reminiscent of King Crimson's Larks' Tongues in Aspic part 2. Of all the tracks on the album, Abyss Hinge 2 seems the one most closely tied with traditional forms, considering it's built around a rhythmic motif that provides the (rare) backbone for the other musical flourishes, like drums and chimes, to work from. At 4:30 the track drops into one of the classic, minutely tinged soundscapes of the album with sounds and instruments I can only guess at, as Driver's voice seems to take on the quality of a plea from a sick or dying man. At 7:10 the track kicks in with another beat that is constantly beginning and dying away, accompanied by an eerie, chromatic lick that sounds like a guitar being fed through an organ amp and a reverb pedal. These themes will largely carry the track through unto its conclusions with (of course) many modulations in between.
Cartogram Out of Phase is the other short track on the album, opening with the odd lyrics "On the roof... I realize... there is no room". An achingly slow drum beat follows Driver's voice, and the other instruments seem to break in like angelic choruses. Cartogram isn't exactly out of tune with the rest of the album, but of all the other tracks it does feel the most hopeful. Less full of the melancholy, despair, and rage that drove most of the album. There's a greater sense of surety about it, and it gets stronger as it goes on, seeming to tentatively find some kind of faith and conviction. The actual organ that eventually begins echoing in the background is quite an appropriate symbol for the divine tinge of the song. Overall, it provides a tremendously graceful close to an emotionally exhausting album that very well might be the pinnacle of Kayo Dot's short career. Though, in all honesty, my favorite Kayo Dot album seems to vary as much as my moods (or perhaps dreams) themselves.
There are many strange yet strangely appropriate elements when it comes to my relationship with Kayo Dot and with this album. For starters, I can't remember how in the world I even heard about them, or where, when, and why I decided to pick up Choirs of the Eye to begin with. With each subsequent release I feel like I don't know the band any better; every new album has been a shock to my system, and has required a period of adjustment between what I'm used to and what the album is. Sadly, I'm not sure I've ever quite made that journey towards the land of familiarity. Even when it comes to Coyote, here I am, reviewing an album with zero reviews (so far) on Amazon, almost as if nobody knows it exists, or that it exists in its own limbo. But one thing's for sure, Kayo Dot is not a band, and Coyote is not an album, with any kind of ontological, Cartesian crisis, because each album, including this one, feels like an organic, conscious entity in itself--one that inevitably pulls me into its own world of warring musical levels of consciousness, regardless of my struggles against it.