Katsura Yamauchi / Martin Vognsen Spanien

JVT0009 (Jvtlandt 2013)

CD in 6 panel digipak



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1. System One [11:48]
2. Two Is Enough [15:08]
3. Dolphin [5:12]
4. Koma [8:59]
5. Chatime [17:44]

Katsura Yamauchi: Alto sax
Martin Vognsen: dobro (resonator guitar)

All tracks by Katsura Yamauchi & Martin Vognsen

Recording and Mastering: Martin Vognsen
Design: Martin Vognsen


Katsura Yamauchi: Katsura Yamauchi picked up his first saxophone in the early 1970s and was quickly drawn to modern jazz, avant-garde and free improvisation. Born in Beppu, far from the traditional creative centers around the bigger cities of Japan, Yamauchi was until recently relatively unknown, but has now shown himself to be one of the most unique musicians in Japan.

For years Katsura Yamauchi was sporadically active as both musician and concert organizer and helped arrange performances in Japan for veteran musicians from both the USA and Europe, such as Derek Bailey, Peter Brötzmann and Milford Graves.
Not until 2002 did he quit his regular job to dedicate himself fully to music. Yamauchi was influenced by the new experimental sounds coming from Tokyo, but had developed his own original style, mixing improvisation and minimalism with melodic elements. The music is at the same time challenging and easily accessible, unrecognizable and beautiful.

Katsura Yamauchi has released several solo CDs and recorded with Michel Doneda, Gunter Müller and Norbert Möslang from Voice Crack and performed with Taku Unami, I.S.O., Misha Mengelberg, Tatsuya Nakatani, Sharif Sehnaoui, Jason Kahn, Otomo Yoshihide, Sachiko M, Barre Phillips, Kim Dae-Hwan, Gino Robair, Toshinori Kondo, Yoshimitsu Ichiraku, Travassos, Toshimaru Nakamura, Seijiro Murayama, Han Bennink and many others.

In addition to extensive activity in Japan, Katsura Yamauchi has toured the USA and several times in Europe. He has performed at many international festivals, including Musique Innovatrices, Castello Canalis, Beppu Contemporary Art Festival, Ftarri Festival, Amplify Festival and Asian Meeting Festival.

"Katsura Yamauchi is really both a new and a veteran artist... I am greatly refreshed by his energetic and confident performance."

- Otomo Yoshihide, July 2003


Martin Vognsen: Guitarist/composer and co-founder of the Denmark/Japan-based micro label Jvtlandt. Currently plays out many of his musical fantasies under the moniker Scataw (State Changes According To A Wind), and has played with Katsura Yamauchi, Yasuhiro Yoshigaki (Emergency), Kumiko Takara, Makoto Kawabata (Acid Mothers Temple), Tatsuya Yoshida (Ruins), Senju Muneomi, Iku Sakan, Anders Lauge Meldgaard, Musik For Seks Elektriske Guitarer, a. o.


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Katsura Yamauchi / Martin Vognsen

This is another duet, this time with Danish guitarist, sound collage explorer and designer of sonic installments Martin Vognsen, who created the series of recordings State Changes According To A Wind (Jvtlandt, 2009). The music is, again, minimalist but this time serene, and both Yamauchi and Vognesen focus on exploring the common, distinct characters of their instruments.

The five deeply focused, abstract, almost transparent improvisations emphasize the alto saxophone's sonic properties as a vehicle for manipulating minor, detailed changes within streamed breaths and air. Whether plucked or bowed, the sonic palette of Vognsen's dobro adds tiny, metallic, percussive and often resonating colors, as well as basic drone and ambient sounds.

The highly reserved and almost silent interplay creates enigmatic and surprisingly beautiful melodic soundscapes on the almost cinematic "Two Is Enough," with its precise, feather-light pulsations. "Koma" introduces a soft, resonating sonic canvas, abstracted with bold, abrupt fragments of melodic lines consolidated on the closing "Chatime," this time structured with a fractured East Asian-tinged theme.

Both recordings offer fascinating journeys within delicate forms of sound and time.

-All About Jazz, May 2013