A second album of smooth collaboration from the duo of Marahiko Hara and Polar M. Guitar and keys move softly around each other in a sort of jazz-lounge-folktronica hybrid. The title Dance refers to the artists’ notion that every part of life can be a dance, and also reflects their recent collaboration with dance choreographers. Dancer Mia Cabalfin also contributes some spoken word. CD release on mu-nest.
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Music made by people who are fascinated and enchanted by dance. What, you want more details? Oh OK. The duo of Marihiko Hara and Polar M have crafted their second album of silky-smooth, gently lilting piano-and-guitar folksy compositions. It’s a certified winner on this scorcher of a day... Particularly following on from a raft of sad and austere neo-classical records in today’s review pile. The jazzy ‘Season Changes’ seems to be a celebration of sorts; the blackberries are ripe and ready for picking from our hedgerows and we’re even experiencing an Indian Summer, this far north.
‘Ray of Light’ is breezy and optimistic -- cyclical guitar and tinkling, looping piano a la Pat Metheny and Steve Reich are really injecting some ‘oomph’ into my afternoon. On ‘Monologue’ the Frahm-like piano becomes more introspective and thoughtful, as electric guitar furls around it softly like wisps of smoke. The duo have worked with choreographers, composing pieces for dance performances; ‘Dance’, sure enough, features the voice of Phillipines dancer Mia Cabalfin saying the jarring words “Dance or I’ll whip you to death!” over a beautiful piece of music.
The piano and guitar are beautifully played and work so well together, it’s kind of… uplifting. Huh. Check ‘Beryl’ for a prime example. The light-as-a-feather picks, strums and electronic textures on ‘Asia’ are also doing it for me. Floating ambient, folktronica and polished post-classical mix seamlessly, often within the same track, such as ‘Ocean of Night’. Watch out for those jazzy chord changes. Pleasant evening chill for these late summer nights.
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