With some lovely gifts from some lovely people recently, I have had the opportunity to go a bit mad on the album purchasing front. One such new album is An Anxious Object by mouse on the keys.
Signed to the small independent label Machupicchu Industrias (along with Tangled Hair, who I had the pleasure of seeing support Brontide the other week), mouse on the keys write music that, while nothing spectacularly new, contains an abundance of ideas and melodic passages.
Two pianos, two keyboards and drums are what it takes for the Japanese trio to make an exuberant mix of jazz, electronica and heavy grooves, bringing together elements of Neil Cowley, The Bad Plus, and fellow Japanese scamps Lite. The second track from the above album, Spectres de Mouse opens with furiously rolling drums and driving stabs before evening off nicely.
Though the above YouTube video may not do it justice, what strikes me about this album is how BEEFY the production is. Through a decent set of speakers, the sound is huge; the drums are particularly well balanced with an exceptionally punchy but defined kick drum. The wall of piano booms out like there’s no tomorrow. I would urge anyone to listen to the album properly, i.e. not through YouTube, to appreciate the depth behind the trio’s sound.
To contrast Spectres de Mouse, I will leave you with Forgotten Children, a tune that builds a soundscape upon a collapsing jazzy beat with chiming chords and a sombre melody. When you reach 2.10 and hit that groove………….it is so, so, so richly rewarding.