ARC - beneath the surface

 彼らは二人とも正式な教育を受けた非常に才能あるギタリストであり、そしてもっと重要なことは、彼らが語るべき何かを持つ知的な音楽家であるということである。(Dolf Mulder) - VITAL WEEKLY(オランダ)

On july 18, 2005 Berthiaume and Seino gave a concert at Big Apple, in Kobe, Japan. It is perfectly recorded and made available on this cd. And it was worth it. Because this duo offers some really innovating guitarwork that's hard to describe. Both are unknown guitarists. Berthiaume debuted a few years ago with a cd with duets with Fred Frith and Derek Bailey. It was followed by a cd in trio format with pianist Quentin Sirjacq and sound engineer Norman Teale. Both cds were released by Ambiances Magnetiques. But of the two players Seino seems to be most experienced one. He has already several cds out, just explore the VOS-catalogue. He had his own trio, and group and was engaged in numerous - most japanese - collaborations. Both are well-educated and very talented guitarists, and what is more important they are intelligent musicians who have something to tell. If easy listening and avant garde can go together, I would say this describes some of their improvisations, like the first part of track 6 or the solo piece by Berthiaume. Also the title-track is an excursion into spacious and echoing guitar-sounds that makes them more related to Frisell of Fripp-like soundscaping then to Frith or Bailey-inspired improvisations. But at other moments they chose for a very hectic, distorted and dynamic approach, like in the end of the title track. Although the cover makes no mentioning of it, it is evident that both have surrounded themselves with lots of technical and electronic devices. But the gentlemen are throughout in charge of what they are doing and deliver some very engaging music, true sonic symphonies I would say. (Dolf Mulder)

 これはとんでもない音の魔術師による、もっとも成功したデュオである。 - Down Town Music Gallery(ニューヨーク)

When the young Montreal-based guitarist, Antoine Berthiaume's first disc came out on Ambiances Magnetiques, it featured Antoine performing duos with both Derek Bailey and Fred Frith, two of the elder statesmen of modern improv guitar. This was quite a surprise to many of us who had not heard of Antoine before this. Since then, Antoine has another fine trio disc out on A.M. and has also played a solo set here at DMG last year. He recently came to visit and left us with copies of his new duo disc with a Japanese guitarist named Takumi Seino, another musician with whom I was unfamiliar. This duo disc was recorded live at Big Apple, in Kobe, Japan, in July of 2005. Both of these sonic explorers appear to by using a variety of devices to alter their sound. Antoine often sounds Frith-like with his use of volume swirls but uses other odd devices to come up with different space/rock guitar sounds. Takumi is a well-matched guitarist, although it sounds as if he has a rack of sonic effects, twisting his electronic sounds into all sorts of strange shapes. I am reminded at times of those Frith/Kaiser duos, which don't sound too much like they are produced by guitars. The title track is a long (nearly 22 minute) epic of cosmic, mesmerizing sounds that should make many space rock & prog-heads smile. Both Antoine and Takumi have fine 10 minute solo pieces that show their unique sound quite well. Both guitarists play lovely pieces which are semi-acoustic works that are quite elegant, melancholy and jazz-like in tone. The final duo, "White, Wisps of Red and Blue", features some eerie bowing and variety of bizarre sounds that build into spacious alien worlds. Considering that neither of these guitarists is very well known, this is a most successful duo of extraordinary sonic magicians. - BLG

- Squidco(ニューヨーク)

Montreal's Antoine Berthiaume met Japan's Takumi Seino in a dual guitar improvisational setting at Big Apple Studio in Kobe, Japan. The results are a beautifully recorded set of extended tracks that pit guitar strings and audio effects in recordings that constantly grab your attention in the huge soundspace they create. Each guitarist takes a speaker, clearly showing each player's respective and impressive creative talents. Berthiaume, who's recorded with Derek Bailey and Fredi Frith, spends his time between Montreal and New York, when not extensively touring - he'll be featured in the 2006 Victo Festival. Takukmi Seino, winner of Yamaha's Best Guitarist awark in '85 is a Berkley graduate and is active as a solo and group improviser; he also provided the artwork and design for this release.

- DAME(カナダ)

This session, recorded live at Big Apple (Kobe, Japan), is the first encounter between guitarists Antoine Berthiaume and Takumi Seino, who met for the first time in July 2005. Beautifully recorded by Tetsumasa Kondo - both sound engineer and owner of Big Apple - during an amazing performance by both musicians, this record is the first performance of many to come by this exciting and unpredictable duet. A new taste of "avant-garde guitar" served by up and coming guitarist Berthiaume and Takumi, Japan's best guitar player according to Yamaha's 1985 Osaka competition. [AB, ii-06]

- par Stefano Bianchi in Blow Up #97 (イタリア), 1 juin 2006 |3094000|

Due chitarre che improvvisano: Seino sul canale destro, Berthiaume su quello sinistro. Uno propenso a farsi drone o camuffarsi ambientale, l'altro a trasmutare assolo scorticati e devastati. L'insieme - tra i frippertronics, Frisell e l'avant odierna - non esalta e non annoia; stupisce, piuttosto, per la grande varieta di accenti che espone - par di ascoltare dieci strumenti diversi, e tutti inappuntabili. (6.5/10)