Audio Mixer: Johann Scheerer.
Recording information: Clouds Hill Recordings, Hamburg.
A part of the Live at Clouds Hill series, this album captures the trio in concert at the Hamburg-based recording studio. Recorded by the studio's owner, Johann Scherer (who has also worked with Gallon Drunk and Bosnian Rainbows, among others), the 64-minute set -- which is precisely as long as two analog tapes -- finds Nisennenmondai in their element. The group's set culls highlights from 2009's Destination Tokyo and 2014's excellent N, kicking off with a rendition of the latter's hypnotic epic "A" and a reworking of the former's avant disco excursion "Mirror Ball," proving that their almost inhuman precision isn't just the effect of studio editing. However, the songs do gain a special something from the live setting: there's an extra snap to Sayaka Himeno's drumming and, if possible, even more tension generated by the interplay between Masako Takada's guitar and Yuri Zaikawa's bass. Live at Clouds Hill is well worth checking out for all Nisennenmondai fans, and especially those who haven't had the chance to see them in concert. ~ Heather Phares