Maher Shalal Hash Baz | GEOG23 | Released: 03/11/03
Geographic is very proud to present new music by Maher Shalal Hash Baz - the Open Field ep compiled from two recording sessions in East Kilbride Arts Centre, Scotland, where Maher’s melancholic avant pop sound focused around Tori Kudo’s beautiful new compositions and Maher created their warmest, most accessible music yet. Open Field seems to be an impression of Tori’s homeland, perhaps from a passing car in a series of snapshots like on Red Crayola’s Soldier Talk, where Tori conveys the slow view with a compelling soulful vocal, complemented by his wife Reiko’s plaintive echo : ‘Open field with a window, open field with no child’. This track features The Pastels and Bill Wells, whose piano part led to Tori’s idea of a ‘conceptual mix’ from the next field. Tokyo Okinawa Scotland reflects an idea Tori had of a connection between the notes he has heard on Scottish music and what he called, ‘the three-note Okinawa sound’ which operates a different pentatonic scale to traditional Japanese music, and is characterised by its yearning quality. ‘Sunrise’ is classic Maher, almost in the style of Unknown Happiness, and ‘What’s Your Business Here, Elijah’, although featured on the forthcoming Blues Du Jour set, needs your immediate attention, as it is surely one of his greatest ever songs - a neo-biblical epic with a Bob Dylan feel.