Konata Kanata is the Tokyo-based trio HONTATEDORI's second release, following their self-titled debut LP from 2013 on the Japanese Compare Notes label. TAKU UNAMI, MOE KAMURA and TETUZI AKIYAMA are better known as solo performers and in their numerous collaborations than they are in this unique, lovely trio—at least until now. Hontatedori places Kamura’s wonderfully delicate voice amidst the mercurial two-guitar landscape of Unami and Akiyama in crystalline settings of aphoristic song.
The group describes their pieces as originating in monophonic compositions by Unami that gesture eccentrically toward medieval plainchant: “Originally their music sounded like covert and whispering folk music, however, they’ve come to the sound of quiet funkiness and cold psychedelia.” Some listeners might liken them to a dialed-back, considerably more reserved version of various Dagmar Krause-led groups such as Slapp Happy and the Art Bears given their erasure of separation between art and pop song. The eighteen exquisite minutes of “Konata Kanata” (“Here There,” in a slightly antiquated Japanese word choice) hearken back to the golden age of unclassifiable post-punk 12” EPs, in which at a certain point all that you might know of a particular group consists of rigorously vetted representative pieces (see “A Taste of DNA,” etc.), but also to miniatures—tantalizing scraps of song—that are one of the legacies of musical modernism.
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