«Live At SuperDeluxe» homage to a long-lost club, Tokyo’s SuperDeluxe and a testament to the club’s unique ethos of matching intrepid musicians, its unique atmosphere and attentive and appreciating audience. The album documents an ad-hoc meeting of The Geordie Approach trio – Geordie-born Englishman Chris Sharkey on electronics and Norwegian drummer Ståle Birkeland and alto sax plus electronics player Petter Frost Fadnes, with Japanese koto player phenomena Michiyo Yagi. The album was recorded in October 2017 by the Geordie Approach sound engineer Håkon Holmås, during the trio second tour in Japan. The album is released on a limited edition of 275 vinyls and a download option.
The three musicians of The Geordie Approach have long been drawn to the experimental, rustic, activist-run underground venues found in basements, lofts and abandoned factories scattered across our cities, and SuperDeluxe was one of their absolute favorites. One floor, audience close, dry, warm sound, and an excellent sound system. Yagi was a perfect choice and immediately feels like an integral part of The Geordie Approach aesthetics. She has long been pushing the boundaries of the traditional koto, experimenting with electronics, and free improvising with like-minded free spirits like Peter Brötzmann, Joe McPhee, Paal Nilssen-Love, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, LasseMarhaug and Elliott Sharp.
The album is divided into two pieces – «前半» (first half) and «後半» (latter half), that sound like one extended piece that patiently builds its tension and the cathartic climaxes, but concludes in a peaceful, poetic coda. These pieces highlight the daring, unpredictable dynamics of the ad-hoc quartet that experiments with acoustic and electronic sonorities, and swings again and again between rhythmic ambiance and intense, noisy mayhem. Yagi’s electric 21-string koto and 17-string bass koto often sound like a futurist bass and otherworldly percussive instrument but also color the interplay with seductive, exotic sounds. Her wide-open sonic vision fits perfectly the layered, sound-oriented and often abstract and enigmatic soundscapes of The Geordie Approach. And as Michael Pronko from Jazz in Japan wrote in his liner notes, «Live At SuperDeluxe» is one of the albums that guarantees that you would have wished to be there while these four musicians seized the audience by their creative force. Listening to it, you will very much be there.
Chris Sharkey (elec), Ståle Birkeland (dr), Petter Frost Fadnes (as, elec), Michiyo Yagi (el. 21-string koto, 17-string bass koto, elec)