The Strad Issue: January 2011
Description: Short but sweet: a meeting of different popular styles
Musicians: Kono Michi: Michi Wiancko (violin/vocals) Mike Sorensen Small (guitars/bass) Grant Pringle (drums/percussion)
Composer: Various

This EP of just four songs offers a nicely sized taste of Kono Michi’s rather original musical world, in which theatricality and a shifting, indefinable mix of popular styles converge. Much of the drama comes from Michi Wiancko’s vocal delivery – slightly kooky and with a hint of the unhinged, plus an element of spoken intonation and a variety that includes the staccato, overdubbed lyrics to One More Day. But it’s also served by imaginative writing – the distorted guitar fragments against tranquil luminescence in Sea Song, the tremolo that tails off into nothing at the end of the disc. Wiancko’s violin turns up in several guises over the course of the four songs.

There’s some nicely judged, natural-sounding overdubbing in In a Lake and a full-blown, Romantic chorus melody in Sea Song, before she turns to her electric instrument later in the piece. This provides one of the high-points of the recording, with more dramatic flourishes and a wailing that manages to sound like a violin rather than an imitation guitar. Unfortunately this becomes a little stodgy through too much repetition, but it’s a rare weak spot in a recording that has more to it than many full-length albums.

James Crel