Henrik Schwarz & Kuniyuki, The Session

[Mule Musiq]

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Usually the phrase “jam session” conjures mental images of hippies, bongos and rooms thick with marijuana smoke. But despite the aimless connotations, long and improvised sessions are how a number of great techno/house musicians find their signature grooves which are then whittled into tracks. Tobias Freund and Max Loderbauer, Ricardo Villalobos and a host of smaller names are all purportedly fond of the method. For Henrik Schwarz, his friend/collaborator Kuniyuki Takahashi and guitarist Yoshihiro Tsukahara, one such post-tour session was so inspirational it spawned the aptly-titled “The Session” single, which sees release on Mule Musiq.

Schwarz and Kuniyuki each get a side to pare down “The Session” into their own unique creation, starting with the former. Giving in to historical pressure (just kidding), Henrik’s hand drum beat and syncopated shaker pattern set the stage for sizzling synth stabs, as if they were coursing through a dangerously frayed cable. While it’s not one of Schwarz’s more dazzling tunes, it accurately captures his equal affection for Robert Hood’s minimal techno palatte and African tribal percussion. Kuniyuki’s version is likely closer to what “The Session” sounded like as it was happening: a vast and tangled web of looped and leading guitar licks, loping synth progressions tweaked in real time, droning feedback planes and a mess of overlapping drum work held together by the almighty kick drum — and even it shrinks back occasionally. Like an unexpected detour that turns into a prolonged and gripping adventure, Kuniyuki’s 12 minute version is as exhausting as it is enjoyable, as well as a welcome fusion of organic and synthetic sounds. So let’s cast aside our prejudices against jam sessions for a bit, munch on a magic brownie and let “The Session” take us for a ride.

m1nd  on April 25, 2008 at 12:37 PM

Such a sensational track! Thanks for sharing.

Ivars  on April 29, 2008 at 3:18 AM

yea, Henrik version is even merrier, LP coming to me on 12 :)


Little White Earbuds » Little White Earbuds April Charts  on June 17, 2008 at 8:32 AM

[…] Henrik Schwarz & Kuniyuki, “The Session” [Mule Musiq] […]

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