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ARTIST
TITLE
The Flowers of Romance
FORMAT
LP

LABEL
CATALOG #
MUSIQ 189LP MUSIQ 189LP
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
9/25/2015

LP version. Mouse on the Keys, the Japanese trio of Daisuke Niitome (piano, keyboard), Akira Kawasaki (drums, piano, keyboard), and Atsushi Kiyota (synths, piano, keyboard), are an energetic, hard-to-pigeonhole Tokyo-based group that combine the sound of diverse pianos and synthesizers with out-there drumming. Their locomotive American hardcore rhythms and virtuosic post-rock grooves dance fearlessly with jazz, contemporary classical, and shreds of electronic music. Since their foundation in 2006, the band has released on such labels as Japanese imprint Machu Picchu Industries and acclaimed German label Denovali Records, and toured Europe, Canada, Brazil, and Asia. As their main influences, the musical libertines name a miscellaneous range of labels, artists, and bands including On-U Sound, Burt Bacharach, Claude Debussy, Bad Brains, Kreator, Material, Johann Sebastian Bach, Beastie Boys, Napalm Death, and Steve Reich, all of whom left their traces on the group's third album, The Flowers of Romance, an irrepressible amalgam of spontaneous ideas and precisely written harmonics. While recording in Tokyo and the little coast town of Izu, in April and May of 2015, the trio worked for the first time with material that they had not written together. Each member wrote songs by himself, and the band collaborated with guests like violinist Atsuko Hatano, trumpet sorcerer Daisuke Sasaki, guitarist Masahiro Tobita of the legendary Japanese hardcore band Envy, and many more singers and musicians, enlisting contrabass, clarinet, and saxophone. Together they turned in a live sound that gives the compositions a human touch and brings them to a higher level. The pieces have moments of post-rock and free jazz, occasionally recalling the music of Tortoise or John Zorn. A virtuosic mix of alert piano-playing, intense drumming, chamber music, synth grooves, celestial ambient structures, and beautiful abstract melodies. The Flowers of Romance also includes a composition by their hero, Maurice Ravel, and the band claim that western philosophers like Ferdinand de Saussure, Sigmund Freud, or Karl Marx had a major influence on the writing process. It's a multi-layered superstructure and an exhilarating utopian masterpiece made with precision, fidelity, and frankness for ears with a deep sense of the intense, the radical, and the playful.