I was introduced to Kishi Bashi a few months ago when I saw his name show up on my Bandsintown app for a show he was playing here in Birmingham. I scroll through the list of shows in town pretty frequently and sometimes artists that I don't know catch my eye. I will often look them up to listen to their work and this was one of those times. When I look an artist up to try them on, I typically start with their first released material. I like to listen through chronologically. It gives me an idea of their progression in the actual sequence of events rather than piecing it together later.
Kishi Bashi, actually known by Kaoru Ishibashi (K Ishibashi for short), is an extremely talented violinist and well renowned for his work. He travelled and toured for a while playing the violin and gained quite a following. He studied film scoring at Berklee College of Music and has played with numerous groups including but not limited to of Montreal. He even has his own line of coffee through Jittery Joe's... so you know he's good. (http://www.kishibashi.com/about/#bio)
Kishi Bashi's debut full length album is this. “151A.” I immediately fell in love. He creates music that is completely hypnotizing and pulls you in every time you start listening. The flow of this album is insane. It will completely pass you by and you will never know it did. It feels comfortable in all the right ways.
It all starts with a great fade in. (Typically fade ins and outs can be awfully done... this is not one of those times.) It makes its way into a driving drum set with the rest of the band pushing everything forward and acting as though it's on top of the world.
Throughout the album his vocal parts are both subtle and assertive. He lets the delicate parts of his pronunciations stick out like a sore thumb but with no apologetics. What you hear is what he wants. He is constantly building over the course of the hour and uses the extremities of instrumentation. He will go from synths to guitars and drums to string quartets and back again, moving across the spectrum as a true musician does.
I will not specifically state one song as my favorite because I honestly feel that this is a single collection of work. It all ends with a synth and sinking vocals, allowing you to digest what you just experienced. It is extremely well done and I tip my cap to Kishi Bashi for his work. Well done, sir. Well done.
And please, go check out more of his material. Really, really great stuff.
Until next time.