Midori Takada - Through The Looking Glass LP
Midori Takada is a Japanese composer and percussionist who combines influences from African and East Asian traditional percussion music with American jazz, new age and avant-garde practices. She first performed in the percussion trio Mkwaju Ensemble, who have two highly sought after LPs from the early 80s. Through The Looking Glass, her first solo recording, was released in 1983 and became almost instantly unavailable. Long chased by collectors and recently only available for outrageous sums, it's a blessing to have this beautiful record back in print thanks for the joint efforts of Palto Flats and We Release Whatever The Fuck We Want Records.
Entrancing recorder and marimba melodies are slowly overtaken by disquieting, throbbing bongos, which eventually give way to harmonium drone. Takada's work shows an understanding of such varied traditions as Balinese gamelan, African mbira and marimba, Japanese traditional music and the works of such 20th century composers as Glass and Reich. All those elements are grounded by Takada's compositional personality resulting in an album that is at the pinnacle of Japanese ambient music.