Mkwaju Ensemble – Maximum Alpha
From Mkwaju Ensemble – Ki-Motion
Released on Better Days, 1981, Japan
Mkwaju Ensemble is a Japanese unit formed by two percussionists , Midori Takada (whose solo album, Through The Looking Glass, recently gained a huge fame) and Yoji Sadanari. Ki-Motion is their second album but their only two albums were made the same year, in 1981. This might the first experiment of this sort of music in japan, bringing something fresh to the small world of minimal music.
On this album, the duo explores minimalistic rhythms of marimba and vibraphone, the main concept behind Ki-Motion being « a regression to African rhythms ». Maximum Alpha is a complex tune, featuring minimal rhythm patterns of vibraphone and floating marimba sounds, backed by a set of ghostly synth waves.
It has been purposely designed to bring the listener into a mystic maze, and we have to admit that it worked for us… Definitively a timeless classic by a seminal Japanese 1980’s ambient band.