Dusting the cobwebs off any dry free-improvisation dogma, Kazuhisa Uchihashi serves up some rainbow coloured explorations on his guitar and Daxophone - an electric wooden instrument invented by German guitarist Hans Reichel. All created in one take with no overdub, Uchihashi is able to explore a vast array of territory with the help of a few effect pedals: There's buzzing drones, writhing cycles of wiry noodling, elastic detuning jumps and lightning-speed tonal changes. Five Strings for solo guitar hits out with some seasick & emasculated math-rock, while 'Guitar Solo Reflect' revels in near-obscene spiral of multi-fx short circuiting, not too unlike Alan Sondheim's radical early work on ESP Disk. The ridiculous sense of play and FUN extends to his daxophone, where he focuses his energy on timbral qualities of the instrument: scrapping, tapping and creating little dancing rhythmic patterns. A real treat, this one.
Cover design by Oliver Barrett from an artwork by Ethan Barrett.
A pioneering Japanese guitarist, Uchihashi is involved in a wide variety of musics, but still retains a commitment to free improvisation. Born in 1959 in Osaka, Uchihashi began to play the guitar at age 12, playing in various rock bands, though he later studied jazz music. In 1988 he joined the band the First Edition, and in 1990 formed the band Altered States. He was also a member of Otomo Yoshihide's Ground Zero from 1994 to 1997. Uchihashi also plays daxophone, and in addition to his role as a free improviser, Uchihashi has been the musical director for Osaka theatre group Ishinha, has held improvisation workshops (a project known as New Music Action) in various cities in Japan, as well as London, Oslo, and currently in Vienna also. Uchihashi has set up his own record label, Innocent Records a.k.a. Zenbei Records, had held a music festival annually since 1996 Festival BEYOND INNOCENCE.