Kota Motomura has released his debut LP, Pay It Forward, on Scotland`s Hobbes Music. It`s an eclectic affair, but with its roots firmly in house music culture. Extending from pounding, percussive, crazed carnival loops, to beatless, blissed out, collages of acoustic guitar and birdsong. In between there are North African / Middle Eastern-flavoured moments – mixing ancient chants and woodwinds with buzzing, Moog lines – and trance-y, hypnotic, Italo / House hybrids. To Be Free is full of effervescent emissions and frantic clipped funky guitar. The playing, care of Akihiro Iwamoto, a ringer for Talking Heads / David Byrne`s Born Under Punches ace angular highlife approximations.
The album`s other standouts for me are kinda contrasting. First up, there’s the opener, Paradise, which starts with Mutsumi Takeuchi`s squawking, skronking jazz sax, adds congas and showers of trippy synths, before snapping into a Loose Joints / Dinosaur L-like disco-not-disco groove – complete with very cool electric keys, and a big massed horn chorus.
Tropical on the other hand is a more downtempo, and experimental, offering. Employing turntable-ist technique, Kota cuts up rainforest field recordings, tribal hand-drums, and more chants. The Amazonian atmospherics in particular are used highly percussively, scratched in and out so that they shake the song along. All of this riding a chunky electronic beat. The results put me in mind of Salon des Amateurs` Durian Brothers, and also Wolfgang Ottl & Jean-Philippe Hulin`s The New Morning crew. It`s a quality afro / cosmic concoction.
Kota Motomura`s Pay It Forward is out now, on Hobbes Music.