Grand Tour album cover
Grand Tour

Sans Deer

2009
Bookend

A short, but very sweet indeed, album from Sans Deer, a collective formed by Takuya Sugimoto, who was also a sometime floating member of Maher Shalal Hash Baz. The songs here are lovely chamber miniatures, starting with gently plucked guitar, and stretching outwards from there with clarinet, saxophone, and the ghostly shimmer of the musical saw, oscillating in the background like an acoustic theremin. It’s all performed live – in this case, at the FALL record store in Nishi-Ogikubo, Tokyo – with poise and equitable grace, and the charmed calm of the performance, its gestures towards the warmth and sensuous complexity of bossa nova and French pop, makes sense of Sugimoto’s branding of the music as ‘la varieté’: popular music with ‘diversity and depth’.

Jon Dale

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