One of the best albums of this year was the collaboration between the veteran Scottish pianist Bill Wells and ex-Arab Strap man Aidan Moffat, Everything's getting older on Chemikal Underground (go here to refresh your memory). Wells has a new album coming out on Double 6 next week, Lemondale, for which he recruited a host of Japanese musicians for one day's recording in Tokyo, as well as Jim O'Rourke, who lives there now I believe. The press release has this nice detail -
Musicians that had never met and had come from different sides of the tracks suddenly found themselves together in the same recording booth. Tori Kudo, self proclaimed Japanese 'King Of Error' was coupled with virtuoso pianist Satoko Fuji, a classically trained graduate of Berkley Music College in Boston.
The recording also brought together instruments as seemingly incongruent and unrelated as a modified electric fan played by Tetsuya Umeda and the entirely unique and heavenly voices of Saya, from 'Tenniscoats' and Kazumi Nikaido, one of Japan's leading contemporary vocalists.
Sounds interesting on paper, says you, and you can listen to some of the lovely results on this 3-track sampler.
Bill Wells 'Lemondale' Sampler by DominoRecordCo
Different pans recalls Jim O'Rourke, during some of his creamier, Bacharach-inspired moments, but there's an element of amiable chaos afoot that old Burt would never have stood for. And the title track comes on like a politely demented cover version of Whiter shade of pale, with a great air of naive art about it and some obscure machinery in the background threatening to go out of control. It's pop music living on the edge and more power to Wells for pushing the boat out.