The music of MAI MAO seems to proceed by opposites and juxtaposition, shifting from frantic, hectic runs of splattering note spray to moments of granular stasis, where Uchida and Terada coax their instruments into and out of deep wells of silence, or rest, temporarily, in a lagoon of fermenting fuzz. Spiralling kinetics are largely the order of the day, though the opener, Chew a flying flash prayer, skitters here and there, guitar and bass jumping over one another in games of leapfrog and Twis ter, finding new ways to perplex and puzzle the listener, and perhaps each other in the process, Uchida and Terada fully committed to the short -circuiting spirit of the moment.
The energy here is hyperactive, but it also speaks of a curious and committed attention to improvisatory responsiveness, one thats just as likely to fork off into different directions in a split second its real edge-of-the-seat stuff, as though the hands are moving too fast for the mind to follow. Thats all the better, then, to let the gush of genuinely free-thinking, devoted duo improvisation to fly at its most playful and intelligent. File next to the likes of Davey Williams & LaDonna Smith and their TransMuseq companions, or th e wickedly perplexing bass-synth/trombone duets of Dave Dove Paul Duo, and youve some idea of whats going on here, provisionally at least, cos this ones an enthralling, yet welcoming, head-scratcher of the highest calibre.