Rice Field Silently Riping in the Night
Reiko Kudo’s second solo album doesn’t do much differently from its predecessor, 1997’s Fire Inside My Hat, but it doesn’t really need to; Kudo’s aesthetic world is so clearly inscribed and so perfectly rendered that ‘variations on a theme’ communicate like seismic shifts. Kudo’s songs are more dourly melancholy than her husband Tori’s material for their group, Maher Shalal Hash Baz, and her arrangements tend towards the spare. Rice Field Silently Riping In The Night is like listening in to someone’s private thoughts; simple phrases repeat into the void of daytime silence, while Kudo sings as though she’s a skipping stone on water. There are collaborators here – Tori turns up, as do Saya and Ueno from Tenniscoats, and a few others – but their presence is worn very lightly.
– Jon Dale