Crustal Movement is the sophomore album of the Japanese-French quartet KAZE – pianist Satoko Fujii and her partner, trumpeter Natsuki Tamura, and trumpeter Christian Pruvost and drummer Peter Orins, with pioneering electronics wizard Ikue Mori, following Sand Storm (Circum-Libra, 2020). Sand Storm was recorded in a studio in one day, but Crustal Movement was recorded remotely due to the Covid-19 lockdowns in Fujii and Tamura’s hometown Kobe in Japan, Pruvost and Orins’ hometown Lille in France and Mori who is based in New York, between October 2021 and May 2022, when the five musicians weaved together pre-recorded music files and live performance.
But without knowing these tasking details about the recording process, Crustal Movement feels like it was recorded live with an organic flow of the music, though the music is quieter and more reserved than the previous KAZE album. In the usual collective spirit of KAZE and Mori, the five musicians member contributed compositions for this album, structured as basic outlines, with simple instructions and time durations. But while Fujii, Tamura and Mori layered their compositions with the contributions of the others, Pruvost and Orins took the audio files of Fujii, Tamura and Mori and performed alongside these files, live in front of an audience.
The opening piece, Pruvost and Orins’ «Masoandro Mitsoka» swirls around the urgent, irreverent and completely unorthodox trumpet duet of Tamura and Pruvost while Fujii, Mori and Orins intensify the evocative and mysterious atmosphere. Their «No Twist» suggests the natural and patient structuring of these remote pieces, from brief and abstract ideas into nuanced but powerful conclusions. Mori’s «Motion Dynamics» deepens the mysterious vibe and structures the sonic storm of Tamura and Pruvost into dramatic, cinematic images, and her «Shifting Blocks» is even more enigmatic with its tortured and fragmented sounds. Tamura’s «Rolle Cake» explores in a subtle but clever manner all the labyrinthian sonic possibilities of this ensemble, focusing on the interplay of him and Pruvost, with surprisingly lyrical overtones. Fujii’s last, title piece juggles with different modes of odd-meter pulses and slowly creates a dramatic and hyperactive texture, again with the trumpets of Tamura and Pruvost at the center.
Crustal Movement marks the continuous development of KAZE’s risk-taking aesthetics as well as its rich sonic imagination that crosses all boundaries.
Natsuki Tamura (tp), Christian Pruvost (tp, flh), Satoko Fujii (p), Peter Orins (dr), Ikue Mori (elec)