Tara Jane O'Neil & Nikaido Kazumi

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Tara Jane O'Neil & Nikaido Kazumi

'I'm still baffled by the elusive album we made,' writes Kazumi Nikaido in the liner notes for Tara to Niwa, her collaboration with Portland-based musician Tara Jane O'Neil. 'Who the hell is going to buy it?' The record is based around recordings that the women made together in 2008 and 2010, during sessions in Kyoto, Kobe, Lake Biwa and Machida's Ryoudenji Temple. Without a common language to rely on, they improvised abstract meditations and wordless lullabies, with guitar and vocals supplemented by snatches of percussion, electronics and the odd bit of ambient noise. It makes for an intimate, oddly beguiling listen, and the prospect of hearing the pair recreate some of that atmosphere in the pindrop-quiet setting of Ryoudenji is a tempting one. As an added bonus, there'll also be food courtesy of Shibuya veggie stronghold Nagi Shokudo.

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