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Friday, July 18, 2008
Rei Harakami and Kahimi Karie
During the 3rd-anniversary events at Liquidroom in Ebisu, Tokyo last August, Rei Harakami played with jazz-pop vocalist and pianist Akiko Yano in their group Yanokami. This August, the idiosyncratic, Kyoto-based electronic musician plays with multilingual singer Kahimi Karie at the same venue.
Harakami's ability to concoct soft, melodious electronica anthems should be complemented delightfully by Karie's whispered vocalizations. Karie, 40, who has spent time in Paris to develop her career, sings in Japanese, English and French, among other languages. Her songs range from reworkings of bossa nova and French pop to electronic and rock-driven tunes, all enveloped in her dainty, girlish stylings. Karie's most recent release, the 2007 compilation "Specialothers," featured the standards "The Look of Love," "Ave Maria" and French song "Comment te Dire Adieu," accompanied by a sitar.
Harakami's taste may not be so eclectic, but his versatility allows him to work with just about anyone in any kind of medium. He has created music for soundtracks, commercials and collaborations (as with Yano), as well as his own albums, along with producing records by acts such as Japanese rock duo Quruli. In his live sets, he seems to be absorbed in his own world, entranced by his art.
The pair will be joined by two artists who have worked and toured with Karie before: instrumentalist Yoshihide Otomo, founder of the New Jazz Ensemble, who experiments with turntables and other electronics; and guitarist Jim O'Rourke, once a member of Sonic Youth and known for mixing and producing albums by such bands as Wilco.
Takashi Wada, a 26-year-old guitarist who plays jazz-styled tunes with computer-synthesized sounds, will open for Harakami and Karie.
Rei Harakami and Kahimi Karie play Aug. 6 at Liquidroom in Ebisu, Tokyo (7:30 p.m. ¥3,800;  5464-0800; www.liquidroom.net).