Asakusa Follies by Clive Bell (CD Version)

Asakusa Follies by Clive Bell (CD Version)

10 GBP
1. Ultramodern Variety 05:31
2. Silk Factories 04:39
3. The Red Sash Society 04:20
4. Golden Bat Cigarettes 06:24
5. Erotic Grotesque 05:05
6. The Scarlet Gang 05:00
7. Five Story Pagoda 05:48
8. Idle Reminiscence 04:47

Asakusa Follies is a luminous scene of interplay between melody, breath, and the shakuhachi flute. 

Following on from the initial triptych of electro-acoustic releases on the Cuspeditions imprint, Clive Bell’s Asakusa Follies shifts the listener away from the studio and toward the player himself. Breath is a central theme in the album where a punctuation of purring, spitting, flicking and gasping intersects the tones, overtones and noise of the shakuhachi. 

The opening composition Ultramodern Variety makes it immediately apparent that this is no traditional exploration of the Japanese bamboo flute but something altogether unique. Bell’s personal shakuhachi technique is highlighted in the four solo pieces of the album, and reveals a revisionist approach to the instrument which still honours it’s traditional elements. The distant low of the album opener flutters with multiphonics, deep in tone and subdued. Golden Bat Cigarettes celebrates the meeting of breath and bamboo where the mouth and hands on wood buzz then snaps in exhale before drifting toward eerie overtones hanging amidst silence. 

The two closing pieces, Five Story Pagoda and Idle Reminiscence, explore the shrill upper registers of the flute that keen...  more


released June 14, 2017 

Clive Bell: shakuhachi flutes, pi-saw free reed flutes & hmong khene 

Recorded November 2015 by Grant Showbiz at Street-Level III Produced by Sylvia Hallett and Clive Bell 

Shibori textiles and art direction by Ecka Mordecai 
Photographs by Jamie Robinson 
Graphic design by Lewis Mclean 

Mastered by Rashad Becker 

Titles inspired by the 1930 novel, The Scarlet Gang Of Asakusa, Yasunari Kawabata (1899-1972).