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Masayoshi Fujita & Jan Jelinek: Do You Know Otahiti? (Faitiche)

Jan Jelinek, the keen mind behind projects such as the Exposures, Farben, Gramm, and a plethora of releases under his own name, collaborates here with Masayoshi Fujita (El Fog) on two tracks before contributing two more on his own. The two live pieces with Fujita are organized around manipulated vibraphone recordings, often looping through repetitive, unusual patterns of filtered sound (almost like water percussion) while other sounds both electronic and organic are sprinkled overhead. The first goes down smooth with an esoteric jazz tinge, but the second is my favorite in its wandering patterns, looping in on itself with expansive curiosity. By comparison, Jelinek’s solo pieces are more distilled, lacking the organic immediacy of Fujita’s playing. The title track happens in two acts, the first being more of a vocal sound collage (using German-language clips that I don’t understand) and then transitioning into a more musical second half (also built around vocal fragments). It’s only in “Toton” that Jelinek introduces more of an electronic pulse, borrowing a bit from the clicks & cuts of his repertoire and fusing them with his obvious love of early computer music and sound libraries. It gallops at a leisurely pace with blips and bloops that suggest dancing without ever overtly referencing techno. This is the third in a series of four Faitiche releases that will be compiled into a collection; it’s my only listen of the series, but it intrigues me enough to dig deeper. Fans of Jelinek’s repertoire will no doubt enjoy this material, skirting the line between something as low-key as his loop-finding-jazz-records and hinting at his more active work as Farben. It’s cool to hear the collaborative angle coming through so nicely on the first two cuts, something that sets these apart from the rest. The final installment and compilation will be released on Faitiche in early September.

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