Taku Sugimoto is one of our favourite guitarists. Having cut teeth in Japan's underground scene in the 1990's, he has gone on to sculpt his distinct brand of elliptical guitar playing, a kind of ultra-minimalism akin to the work of the Wandelweiser collective. As Bruce Russell of the Dead C has written, "Sugimoto is perhaps the pre-eminent stylist on the guitar ... He brings a golden glow to every session he partakes in, having abandoned amped up noise in favour of a much more introspective and calligraphic style of play."
In this new release, his shards of harmonic and melodic playing meet the bustle of city life. His guitar never feels like an intruder to the musical frame, and instead appears and disappears like gentle gusts of wind or flickers of stars on the horizon. Held together by his focussed compositional techniques and deft attack on his instrument, Taku creates weightless sculptures of sound that meld themselves with the world, infusing each sonic frame with a sense of wonder as it floats and fades to nothing.
recorded by Taku Sugimoto, April 13 &15, 2021, Tokyo
Taku Sugimoto: electric guitar (G major) & acoustic guitar (VII)
Taku Sugimoto is a Japanese guitarist. He initially gained attention in the late 1990s for his restrained, melodic playing, unusual in the world of free improvisation. Critic Bruce Russell describes this era of Sugimoto's music by writing: “Sugimoto is perhaps the pre-eminent stylist on the guitar ... He brings a golden glow to every session he partakes in, having abandoned amped up noise in favour of a much more introspective and calligraphic style of play.” Around 2002 his music became increasingly abstract, all but eliminating melody and featuring extended periods of silence.
He has collaborated with other Japanese musicians involved in the Onkyo movement, such as Sachiko M, Toshimaru Nakamura and Otomo Yoshihide. He has also collaborated with musicians from European free improvisation scenes, notably trombonist Radu Malfatti and guitarist Keith Rowe.