Tanaka-Nixon Meeting was a duo of Michael Morley (The Dead C, Gate) and Danny Butt (Flies Inside The Sun, Rain). They released four singles and two albums across the mid-late nineties, most of which documented a strangely compelling, ongoing duet between guitar (Morley) and cello (Butt). There’s something quite psychologically enclosed about the music here – the dialogue between the two players feels, not quite tentative, but possessed of a particular reserve. On The Ark‘s opener, “Merlot Ties”, Butt sends quivering high-pitched scrapes from the cello sailing across a crushing delay-repeat guitar figure from Morley – swimming in reverb, it’s as though the guitar itself is trying to stutter its way through a weave of hissing electronics and amplification. Like plenty of the music from this scene, it’s loosely conversational without falling into a predictable responsive model of improvisation; rather, you can hear similar sensibilities playing out along parallel lines.

Jon Dale