Recorded in Hamburg, Tokyo, Kyoto, Kobe and Kaditzsch in June 2009.
Front cover (reproduced above) photograph by Kristina Bahr; design by Yuko Zama.
Throughout their careers, both Annette Krebs and Taku Unami have explored the areas between composition and improvisation, innovation and repetition, music and ambient sound. On motubachii, their distinctive styles come together to form a whole that is monolithic yet widely varied, simple yet impossible to fully grasp.
Annette Krebs studied music and concert guitar in Frankfurt/Main, and has lived in Berlin since 1993. She has worked intensively in the crossover area between improvisation and composition, exploring the possibilities of the prepared guitar with regard to sound, structure, noise, the mixing of materials, and space. Various preparation methods are used to produce noises and sounds, which are then enlarged through the use of sometimes high levels of amplification. The sound of the amplification and mixing board, additional tapes, radios and objects are used as musical material. She works also in the field of electroacoustic composition, both deconstructing and reconstructing selected sound and noise material. Fragments of noises, of words and sentences are used to remind, to suggest certain meanings, fusing with the sounds in a surreal, abstract soundscape. Krebs has released a string of superb CDs in recent years, with the most recent being Sgraffito, Siyu and The Kravis Rhonn Project (duos with Robin Hayward, Toshi Nakamura and Rhodri Davies respectively).
Taku Unami was born in Tokyo, Japan, in 1976. He is a composer and improviser working with assorted stringed instruments, including the guitar, mandolin, and contraguitar, laptop and vibrating objects (from which he amplifies the inaudible vibrations). Despite being linked to minimal improvisation his music is hardly classifiable, being able to surprise listeners on every new release, raising unforeseen questions and forging new paths for improvisation. He is part of the group HOSE and has active collaborations with Mattin, Taku Sugimoto and Masahiko Okura. In the past he has worked with Radu Malfatti, Jean-Luc Guionnet, Klaus Filip, Masafumi Ezaki, Burkhard Stangl, Rhodri Davies and Keith Rowe, among others. Unami has also composed for film, including 'Lost My Way' (directed by Takeshi Furusawa) and 'In 1,000,000 years' (directed by Isao Okishima). He has released more than 30 records, both solo and in numerous groups and collaborations. He runs the influential label Hibari Music and co-organizes the Tokyo concert series Chamber Music Concerts with Taku Sugimoto and Masahiko Okura.
Krebs and Unami had only briefly played together a couple of times, and never as a duo, before meeting in Germany and Japan for a series of recordings in June 2009. motubachii is a test for the experienced and jaded listener, a puzzle box of sound, refusing to be categorized neatly. The design by Yuko Zama (based on photos submitted by the musicians) frames the music inside.