Dustin Wong - Photo by Valerie Paulsgrove (Site at vjpphotography.com) - Neon Guitar Hallway.jpg

Dustin Wong + Takako Minekawa

Dustin Wong and Takako Minekawa are artistic omnivores, soaking up a myriad of cultural artifacts and styles, savoring bits and pieces and reimagining them into entirely delightful and playfully intricate songs. The songs on their new album, Savage Imagination, are imbued with a relentless cheerfulness that belies their technicality. Steeped in the history of Japanese pop music and exuding the joy of discovery and exploration, Dustin and Takako are serious musicians not afraid to play it silly. Savage Imagination is their second album as a duo and shows their collaboration in full bloom. This collection of vibrant pop music is laced with sounds of video games, radiophonic experiments, and indigenous music from around the world.

In preparation for writing and recording Savage Imagination, Dustin and Takako developed a new interface in which they could both seamlessly shift from guitar to keyboards to sampler to vocals, expanding timbral possibilities and allowing them to utilize many of the dynamic looping techniques Dustin perfected in his solo work. This new wider palate morphs throughout Savage Imagination, Takako’s breathy but emotionally resonant voice remains a constant, providing characteristically inventive melodies that soar above Dustin’s florescent guitars. On “She He See Feel” Takako sings about quantum physics, human consciousness, and flying above a desert all within the framework of Japanese puns. Their playful energy and omnivorous approach is reflected in the album’s art, a diorama created by the duo while they were recording the music.

Savage Imagination was recorded at home by Takako and Dustin: “We both hit the record button for each other.” Dustin first came to prominence as a member of Ponytail. His recent trilogy of records are incredibly deep and complex albums of looped solo electric guitar, released, at times, with films that Dustin created. Takako Minekawa became well known as an actor and singer in the mid-90s with her albums Roomic Cube and Cloudy Cloud Calculator. Her international acclaim led to collaborations with Ryuichi Sakamoto, Cornelius, Buffalo Daughter, Dymaxion, and others. Dustin and Takako will tour Asia and North America this fall as a duo.