Koreyuki Matsunaga is the artist behind Gratin Carnival, a one-man home recording unit that started in 2011. This self-titled effort is their first album, released originally as a limited CD-R, and now available online. There’s something quite enchanting about Matsunaga’s compositions for guitar, saxophone and clarinet; he tends to state a simple, yet emotionally resonant phrase, or set of chords, and let them slowly do their thing, while wind instruments state playful melodies; sometimes you can hear the creak and rattle of the home recording studio, or the wheeze of a melodica, and a recorder drops by to grant “After Death” a toy-like folksiness. There’s something in here that reminds of chamber jazz, too, in the way the instruments twine tightly together.
– Jon Dale