The concept of Songs, the duo project of guitarist Taku Sugimoto and vocalist Minami Saeki, came about in the second half of 2016. By that December they had already made recordings of their music, and the following February they released their debut album, "Songs" (CD), on Sugimoto's label, slubmusic. Since then, the duo has had an active performance schedule in Japan and overseas, including European tours in 2017 and 2018. Now they have released their second album, the 2-CD set "Songs."
Most of the tracks are short songs between one and four minutes long. All 40 songs (22 on CD 1 and 18 on CD 2) were recorded in Japan and Europe in 2017 and 2018. Lyrics are by Saeki, and compositions are by Sugimoto (except for one song composed by Saeki). Some songs were performed with guest musicians Takashi Masabuchi (guitar), Wakana Ikeda (flute), French musician Léo Dupleix (computer, objects, sine-tones), and Finnish musician Lauri Hyvärinen (guitar).
The basic format consists of extremely short, simple songs performed slowly and quietly, with few sounds, using vocals and guitar only. But if you listen carefully, you'll hear within the simplicity a mysteriously well thought out organization. Both extremely unique and abundantly charming, this is a song album that makes you feel as if you could listen forever.
Is the sound of any instrument more profound than that of the cello in the hands of a master? (Well, maybe the viola da gamba.) Here is exquisite cello music from the 14th to the 21st centuries played by Charles Curtis, including four compositions of his own. "Unfinished Song" will make you a believer. John Simms