Yumi Hara Cawkwell has become a bit of a regular round these parts what with the "Dune", "Upstream" and "Mitsugi (Esoteric Rituals)" collaborations all having seen service round these parts in the last couple of years. This latest collaboration sees her teaming up with well established musician and producer Tony Lowe for "Dream of the Gryllidae", an atmospheric, improvised soundscape. Possibly because Gryllidae is a much cooler word than cricket. The insect that is, not the sport.
And it's all rather good, as the splendid guitar work of Tony Lowe clashes and sparks with the keyboards of Ms Cawkwell to good effect across a set of psychedelic, progressive, jazzy and spacerock styled pieces. Opening track 'Anticipation of Rain' is a good indicator of what is to come, as it sets its controls for the heart of the sun in fine fashion. Some of the tunes have a hint of Canterbury about them, and there's even a fair bash at what could have been a hit single in ye olde days on 'Through The City Gate', which is a must for fans of psych guitar. I've never encountered the work of Mr Lowe before, but the guitar work on this record is quite exemplary, and it's no surprise that he's been in demand over the years.
The album highlight though is 'Waterspout', which gives full rein to their jazzy inclinations and has a quite amazing vocal from Yumi Hara. 'Cicadas will Cry for Me'' runs it a close second and those two tunes, in particular, will be returned to time and time again. It's an album that touches a lot of feelilngs and sensations, and needs some time set aside to fully appreciate everything that is going on. But you won't be disappointed if you make the effort.