The Flag of Midsummer
"Alto saxophone, harmonica, chains, metal, accordion, bells, toy flute -- Masayoshi Urabe. Metal junk, cello, etc. -- Kiyoharu Kuwayama (track 2 only). A new solo album by Masayoshi Urabe is always a cause for rejoicing. This is his first since the frankly frightening Ware Wai Seidei No Kyojyo Zo on PSF in 2003. Urabe rarely plays live now, but this live album catches him in action in a converted saki brewery on the shores of Lake Biwa, near Kyoto. The damp heat of midsummer in this part of Japan seems to have worked its magic on Urabe, and this is an altogether gentler performance than normal. Over one long solo track, he bends his breath and body to the air in his saxophone, his tones blending with the sound of the insects outside the venue. A shorter second track captures him in a rare outing on accordion, toy flute and harmonica together with Kiyoharu Kuwayama. Another radical, effortlessly convincing album from the master of contemporary rock n' roll breathing." -- Alan Cummings.