mouse on the keys
"Japan’s mouse on the keys possesses an instantly recognizable sound: hard piano playing accompanied by hard drumming, with slightly subtler bass accents (also played on the keyboards). The band plays jazz for those who don’t usually like jazz, frequently laying an accessible rhythm over an avant-garde rhythm in order to reach both crowds. Their compositions, although instrumental, usually contain “choruses” – repeated passages that stick in the head and make one yearn to hear them again.. and soon." - acloserlisten.com
mouse on the keys are a 3pc band comprised of two pianos and one drum. Since 2006, they have pioneered a unique sound creating instrumental music that fuses jazz, classical and post-rock with the energy of hardcore punk. Composer Akira Kawasaki's rapid fire drumming is powerful and complex to an almost absurd degree. Atsushi Kiyota and Daisuke Niitome each play electric piano/keyboard setups with Kiyota playing the intricate lead and Niitome providing rhythm and synthesized bass. Support musicians include Jun Nemoto on saxophone and Daisuke Sasaki on trumpet.
Even without lyrics MOTK's music is intelligent and full of emotion drawing inspiration from art, philosophy, history and architecture: "Our songs are the soundtracks of the world we live in." In fact, their debut album An Anxious Object is a documentary of songs reflecting on post-war Tokyo: its vast, ultramodern landscape and its residents who have lost touch with traditional culture. Film projected visuals are incorporated during live performances to illustrate and convey these themes.
mouse on the keys' music has the sophistication and technical chops to impress fans of both jazz and classical music. Musical influences range from Debussey, Stravinsky, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Robert Glasper and minimalist composer Steve Reich. Their roots in hardcore punk manifests in their intense and aggressive playing style, relatively short song lengths... and occasional stage diving by drummer Kawasaki. MOTK perform gigs at jazz festivals and punk/HC shows without looking out of place in either setting.
mouse on the keys have quickly become one of the most sought after Japanese bands for music festivals around the world. 2010 brought MOTK to Europe with concerts in Germany, Poland and France. Last year they were flown in to perform in the Philippines, Taiwan and Hong Kong and graced Fuji Rock back home in Japan. This year they've already been invited to Singapore, Chile and of course... Canada for the Next Music from Tokyo tour. mouse on the keys are world class musicians with a refreshingly original sound who put on an exhilarating performance that should not be missed.