Maher Shalal Hash Baz

Maher Shalal Hash Baz primarily consists of Tori Kudo, a Japanese composer/musician who has been making somber dissonance for nearly two decades now. The name comes from the Book of Isaiah and roughly translates from Hebrew as “To speed to the spoil, he hasteneth the prey.” As lesser preached Bible passages go, it ranks up there for me with “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” But I digress… Kudo doesn’t just make messy music—he appears to these ears to be a true inventor of improvisational balladry. “Different Daylight” sounds at first like an early rehearsal in which the instruments are all being played by Kudo at the same time. But at the center of that clash of horns, strings, guitar and other odd noises is the steady, knowing voice of Kudo himself, like a tour guide through a sandstorm. He has said of his own music, “Error in performance dominates MSHB cassette, which is like our imperfect life.” Yes, but if you listen to “What’s Your Business Here, Elijiah?” (sorry, Domino isn’t down with the free MP3 tip) you’ll find that imperfection can sound pretty close to perfect after all.

2 Replies to “Maher Shalal Hash Baz”

  1. Great to see Maher on here. I always thought that the name was translated “hasten the spoils and quicken the booty,” though. Great post.

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