Several years ago you would have never heard me go on and on about a violin player but K. Ishibashi (aka Kishi Bashi) changed all of that with his genre changing debut 151a (2012). String Quartet Live! features reimagined versions from not only 151a but last year’s Lighght, performed live by himself and an accompanying string ensemble. What is great about this recording is that K.’s vocals are more isolated with the swirling strings flying up, down and around him.
On “I Am The Antichrist To You” this approach is highlighted when at times K.’s voice is all you hear. This format also allows you more time to hear the great electronic banjo of Tall Tall Trees Mike Savino on tracks like “Atticus, In The Desert.” If you have recently seen Kishi Bashi live, Savino’s playing is always a highlight. If you have enjoyed Kishi Bashi in any format, String Quartet Live! should be added to your list of must listens. Every track here will get your attention including his cover of Talking Heads “This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody).”
Kishi Bashi’s music is made for this setting and he shines on stage. String Quartet Live! contains the right balance of intensity, fun and art and honestly could be a strong starting point for anyone wanting to hear what all of the Kishi Bashi fuss is about!
Label: Joyful Noise
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For more of Christopher Anthony’s music reviews, check out The Fire Note
David Edwards is the editor of The Blurb and a contributor on film and television