Na | Naisnice

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Jazz: Free Jazz Electronic: Experimental Moods: Type: Improvisational
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by Na

na reaches musical cacophony, combining improvisation and noise with a slight pop slant. "na is that exceptionally rare experimental act that is actually interested in...experimentation." --Sean Molnar, Signal to Noise
Genre: Jazz: Free Jazz
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Na Impro
4:34 $0.99
2. B
2:40 $0.99
3. Nais Nice
4:03 $0.99
4. Song of Roma
4:33 $0.99
5. Award Winning Strategic Designer
3:50 $0.99
6. I'm Going to the Cold Bank
4:19 $0.99
7. Morning Tribune
2:48 $0.99
8. Red Square
8:12 $0.99
9. Moaning Call
7:32 $0.99
10. Beauty!
1:32 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
A-sides (naisnice) is Na's full-length CD. Recorded at Gallery 1412 in Seattle, between June and July of 2005. Na reaches musical cacophony, combining improvisation and noise with a slight pop slant. They are: Kazu (classical & electric guitar and voice), Shin (drums, sampler, laptop, xylophones, etc.), Noriaki (piano, synthesizers and percussion).

They first got together in Seattle in the early 21st Century, all three of them newly arrived from Japan and taking classes at Shoreline Community College. After moving past perfunctory discussions of pink shoes and John Cage, they began to collaborate on what is usually termed “experimental music.” Music that is self-consciously experimental often has an air of pretentious impenetrability about it; few and far between are the truly experimental musicians who are able to beat bold new paths through the musical wilderness. They simply don’t have enough hands to simultaneously play their instruments and cradle their fragile egos. Na is that exceptionally rare experimental act that is actually interested in...experimentaion. Their music, a strange quilt of aural patches woven from guitars, mouths, child’s drum sets, keyboards, xylophones, computers, drum machines and piles of ancient, dented cymbals, gives the distinct impression that it is choosing the direction, not the players. While playing, Na take themselves on many strange and unpredictable journeys and good-naturedly invite the rest of us along to share in the fun. They are honest, humble, and very, very weird. If your spirit has been suffering from cabin fever, Na would be happy to take it out for a long, wild, and frantic walk.
Sean Molnar - Signal to Noise



to write a review

Mark Jenkins, Washington Post

mostly abstract and ethereal...defined by artistic philosophy...
TINKLY, RANDOM and interrupted by free-form howls, the opening track on "Naisnice" could have been made by musicians who just picked up their instruments for the first time minutes before the session. But "Na Impro" is followed by "B," in which guitarist Kazu Nomura and keyboardist Noriaki Watanabe reveal their classical technique. These are the two poles of the improvisational trio's sound, although the music doesn't simply travel between them. Indeed, the whole point of this group is that it can potentially go in any direction.

All three members of Na are Japanese, but they met while attending a community college in Seattle and are still based there. Drummer Shinsuke Yamada's move to the Pacific Northwest was reportedly inspired by an interest in Nirvana, and Nomura played some rock riffs when the band performed in Washington last June. Yet "Naisnice" is mostly abstract and ethereal, without much boogie or groove. That doesn't mean it's gentle, as the vocal outbursts, discordant guitar and frenetic percussion of "Moaning Call" demonstrate. Such pieces attest that Na's anarchic style is defined not by instrumental ability but by artistic philosophy.

Gust Burns, pianist, Seattle Improvised Music president

fresh, relentless, and fascinating!
Na makes music that is recklessly naive and brutishly cute,
but with a sharpness and an intensity that makes me want
to keep listening. Having followed the group since their
second self-produced free cdr on mado records (the one
in the pink piece of paper) I have watched multiple shifts
point them in different directions: minimal environmental
improvisations for guitar and percussion, interpretations of
complex abstract scores by new composers, harsh harsh
noise, sing-song j-pop with heavy savant keyboard solos,
broken japanese-american blues, etc., etc...
But with each and every approach, na maintains an
insistence and an intention. They always make music that
has never been heard before. Music that makes you split
your sides and at the same time covertly points towards
enlightenment, while infuriating any purists along the way.
The perspective from which Kazu, Noriaki, and Shin make
their music seems totally alien. It can’t be an american
perspective, but it isn’t the same as anything else you’ve
heard from japan. Na’s music would sound foreign
regardless of where it was heard, and that is part of what
makes it so fresh, relentless, and fascinating.

“naisnice” this album was recorded entirely at Gallery 1412,
Settle’s premiere music venue for independent improvised
music, avant-rock, noise, etc. In fact, three of the tracks
were recorded live at a benefit show for 1412. Perhaps this
shows that although na’s music is foreign for sure, Seattle
is as close to its home as anywhere could be.

Dolf Mulder, Vital Weekly

a cacophony of electronic noises and acoustical instruments!
Kazu Nomura (guitar, voice), Shin Yamada (percussion, electronics, voice) and Noriaka Watanabe (keyboards, percussion), all from Japan, met in Seattle where they
started collaborating. They have lots of cd-rs out, 'Naisnice' pretends to be their first official release. It contains 10 songs, each one demonstrates a cacophony of electronic noises and acoustical instruments. Listening to them it becomes obvious that they don't care too much about structure. Also they do not try to become masters in playing technique. In a free and enthusiastic atmosphere their weird songs are born. They are not very critical to themselves, but this maybe their strength in this phase. In the end I would say this is pop-music, but of a very loosely improvised kind. Their focus seems to be to experiment and see what this brings about. I guess they themselves also often do not know what the experiments will reveal. This probably explains the innocent and childlike character of their music. In the an archic
chaos they create, often nice moments occur. These three do have ideas, and are a solid working-unit.

Mats Gustafsson, Broken Face

I can't get enough of this stuff. Recommended.
The Japanese trio (living in Seattle) Na belongs to the rare kind of breed that manages to create improv music that is genre defying and demanding but also all about having fun. Naisnice (Pax Recordings) is mostly abstract and ethereal but there are enough vocal outbursts, surprising pop elements and discordant guitar work from guitarist/vocalist Kazu Nomura to make you constantly uncertain where things will go next. On top of Nomura’s work we get bubbling synthesizers, fractured piano structures and quietly seducing jazz percussion from pianist/multi-instrumentalist Noriaki Watanabe, and percussionist/multi-instrumentalist Shin Yamada. This is the sort of surreal sound exploration that might drive some people nuts, but for some reason I can't get enough of this stuff. Recommended.