The word “kai” has many meanings in many different languages, but perhaps the rough translation, “oar”, can be applied to Tokyo 4-piece te’ ‘s new album,『櫂』(kai), considering one may need some oars to traverse the unpredictable rhythms and immense waves of sound delivered in each densely packed track of this release.
In classic te’ style, “Kai”, begins with a fast-paced, intricately textured, post-rock banger. For those unfamiliar with their modus operandi, the immense amount of energy and emotion portrayed in each of their compositions is immediately apparent. Like large waves sequentially crashing, the second song starts abruptly once the first has finished.
Another one of the expressive Japanese quartet’s traits is their lengthy song titles. One title has a particularly meaningful ring to it: “Creation is synonymous with discovery, ‘flashing’ to capture expression at the perimeter of perception.” This could relate to many art forms, but in a musical context it is hard not to correlate this phrase with the beautiful spontaneity of musical composition. Since their first full-length album entitled, “Thus, the echoes free of interpretation speak the abyss of a “sonic” world.” was released via Zankyo Record in 2005, te’ have maintained a common theme of music related song names that sound as if they had been plucked out of a college thesis paper. This seems to add to the unique sonic narrative contained in every album.