The Wire

The world's greatest print and online music magazine. Independent since 1982


Stream David Grubbs & Taku Unami's new album

April 2018

Their Japanese literature inspired LP Failed Celestial Beings is released by Empty Editions

US multi instrumentalist and writer David Grubbs has joined forces with Tokyo based improvisor Taku Unami to record a guitar album exploring their shared literary interests.

Prior to their musical meeting in Kyoto in 2017, the pair exchanged a long reading list that informed their improvised sessions. “The album’s narrative inclinations are rooted in both artists’ previous experiments with the complex reciprocity between sound and text,” says Berlin imprint Empty Editions, “including Grubbs’s work with the poet Susan Howe and Unami’s collaborations with writers such as Eugene Thacker and Evan Calder Williams.”

Failed Celestial Creatures takes particular inspiration from The Moon Over The Mountain, a collection of short stories by Japanese author Atsushi Nakajima, published in 1942. Indeed, Nakajima's modernised and absurdist versions of ancient Chinese folktales set the scene for Grubbs and Unami's instrumental explorations.

The LP is released in an edition of 500 copies by Empty Editions on 11 May

Leave a comment

Pseudonyms welcome.

Used to link to you.