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ELECTRIC CHAIR, from Japan, is both a rather large and unusual ensemble, comprising eight mandolin players and five acoustic guitarists. "In Leaf" is their sophomore release, following on "Floating" from more than four years ago. The fourteen instrumental pieces on this CD are all penned by a certain Naito Masahiko, who isn't listed among the band members, but whose competence in combining western and eastern tunes is beyond question. Minus vocals, there is rather much in common between "In Leaf" and any of Quikion's recordings, as both the groups build their basic compositional constructions according to the laws of European music (generally speaking) and then ornament those with tunes belonging to various Far Eastern cultures, beginning with their native one. If you like Quikion, you should be satisfied with Electric Chair too, though of course, Totoki Yukiko's bewitching singing makes the former group sound both more diverse and attractive.
VM: June 10, 2007
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