edition: 3
background illustration

In Search of Wild Tulips (sold out)

Tetuzi Akiyama / Erik Carlsson / Toshimaru Nakamura / Henrik Olsson

In Search of Wild Tulips CoverKipling’s wrong! We know for sure,
these guys have made him seem obscure!
At last, the poet in his prime,
surpassed by cruel, relentless time!

It is with great relief and considerable satisfaction that Bombax bombax has the undisguised delight presenting a music in which all conceivable oppositions are humbly and modestly reconciled! In Search of Wild Tulips is an album by japanese improvisors Tetuzi Akiyama and Toshimaru Nakamura and swedish percussionists Erik Carlsson and Henrik Olsson. Together they make music of razor-sharp cut, unaffected courage and shocking equilibrium.

Tetuzi Akiyama: Acoustic guitar
Erik Carlsson: Selected percussion
Toshimaru Nakamura: No-input mixingboard
Henrik Olsson: Drum, cymbal, five glasses and a bowl

Mixed and mastered 2009 by Toshimaru Nakamura. Artwork, Mom with a Rifle, by Anna-Lena Jaktlund. Edition of 165 handmade copies. Screen printed and assembled by Maria Hägglund.

In Search of Wild Tulips is sold out!


  1. Stockholm (13’58)
  2. Göteborg (26’09)
  3. Malmö (8’26)


Stockholm (excerpt)

Göteborg (excerpt)


The Wire

Despite this music’s leisurely pace, it’s all too easy to overlook how dangerous a player Nakamura is, especially when his quiter sounds are partially obscured by other instruments, notably Erik Carlsson and Henrik Olsson’s delicate yet obtrusive pinging percussion on “In Search of Wild Tulips”, recorded during the same 2008 tour of Sweden as the first two tracks on “Semi-Impressionism”. “Tulips” is a more relaxed and unashamedly beautiful affair, but relegating it to the status of pretty wallpaper, à la David Sylvian’s “Manafon”, would be doing it a profound disservice. The interplay between the two duos is discreet, supple and extremely musical.
The Wire #312, February 2010

Dan Warburton

The Watchful Ear

In Search of Wild Tulips is the name of the last of the three recent Bombax Bombax releases, a quartet by Japan’s Toshimaru Nakamura (no-input mixing board) and Tetuzi Akiyama (acoustic guitar) alongside the Swedish Bombax regulars Erik Carlsson (selected percussion) and Henrik Olsson (drum, cymbal, fiveglasses and a bowl). The disc contains three pieces, one each recorded in three different Swedish cities as part of a tour that took place (I think) early this year. The label’s website, in their characteristically fun manner, describe the music as having a “shocking equilibrium” to it. That’s a good way to picture this music actually, as there is a sense of even, calm balance right through the three tracks. There is variety in the sounds and instrumentation used, but like different sized cogs and springs in a makeshift clockwork system the individual characters here come together with a seemingly seamless precision to make improvised music that is steadily slow but precisely defined.

There is also a prettiness to much of the album, borne out of the ringing, chiming, tinkling sounds used by the quartet, which alongside the precision does make the music feel relatively safe, unlikely to suddenly explode in any given direction, but the lack of extreme use of dynamics or surprise are made up for by the feel of craftsmanship and intricate structure found throughout the album. Right from the outset, in the first seconds of the first track, as a tiny gentle flutter of ruffled feedback from Toshi Nakamura’s no-input mixing board is followed immediately by a tiny chime of something like a bell the musician’s ability to listen carefully and respond quickly becomes apparent.

All three of the pieces here are quite charming to listen to, interesting little sculptures in sound that at worst just underline the dexterity of the musicians involved, but at best, and quite often, sound very beautiful indeed. In Search… seems to shy away from any grand statements, maintaining an unassuming character throughout, but still, if listened to carefully, paying attention to which musician makes which sound, the CD reveals a series of lively tensions that perhaps are not so obvious on a more “surface” listen. Although the album really stands as a strong example of how improvising musicians that might not know each other’s playing so much can come together and make music that really sounds perfectly in tune, it also reveals that there are two duos at the heart of the music here, as the two Japanese have played together often, as have the two Swedes. There is a gentle tension between the abstract splattered electronics of Nakamura and the more precise, cubic structures of the two percussionists, with Akiyama mostly playing alongside and through his more familiar colleague, but also in places switching into a repetitive, rhythmic mode to match the European players.

Overall, In Search of Wild Tulips makes for a lovely, relaxed listen, with a thinly veiled undercurrent of energy floating just below the surface. The sense of perfected timing and structure so common to the releases on the Bombax bombax label is present, but with enough banana skins left lying about for it to shoot off in unexpected directions every now and again. Another fine release.

Richard Pinnell

Just outside

Take the music from “Semi-Impressionism”, abstract it out a bit, add two percussionists with a tendency toward the bowed and ringing, and you have this bonbon of a release. If anything, perhaps it errs on the sweet side of things, but it’s certainly a warm bath, something neophytes to the genre could quite possibly pick up on. The closing minutes of the second track are almost radio-friendly! (well, not quite…). The label (wryly or otherwise) seems to be all about happiness and this disc is rather infused with it. Very nice, though, just this side of cloying.

Brian Olewnick

Vital Weekly

Swedish label Bombax Bombax doesn’t release a lot, usually three a year, but I am sure these three will be available before the date mentioned on the press release, December 14th 2010. These releases come in an edition of 165 copies in a nice silkscreened cover (although the small print is not always easy to read). Bombax Bombax deal with improvised music, mostly by Swedish players. The first however is by two Swedish guys, Erik Carlsson (selected percussion) and Henrik Olsson (drum, cymbal, five glasses and a bowl) along with two key players on the scene from Japan, Toshimaru Nakamura (no-input mixing board) and Tetuzi Akiyama (acoustic guitar). Their release is simply great. An excellent combination of Nakamaru’s sine wave like sounds, cracks and hiss from the mixing board with the acoustic input of the other three. Each piece is a live cut. In Malmo things sounds piercing from Nakamaru’s side, but Olsson’s wine glasses, the bow on a cymbal and Akiyama’s sparse input on the guitar make this into a true delight.

Frans de Waard

Reviews in Swedish


Tre nya titlar på den nystartade och musikerdrivna etiketten Bombax Bombax. Gemensamt för dessa tre skivor är dels slagverkaren Erik Carlssons medverkan – en enastående känslig och gränsutforskande musiker som kombinerar ett precisr klangspråk med en ovanlig intensitet i utrycket – dels att musiken skapar sitt allderles egna rum, mittemellan ljudkonst och freeformimprovisation.
Det gäller att spetsa öronen, för många av ljuden är små och knappt noterbara, men i det reducerade tonspråket finns någonting raffinerat, en sorts vardagens inåtvända upphöjdhet. På en av skivorna, In search of wild tulips, finns resultatet av den turné som Eric Carlsson och Henrik Olsson gjorde våren 2008 tillsammans med de japanska musikerna Tetuzi Akiyama och Toshimaru Nakamura. Titlarna anger platserna där inspelningarna är gjorda: Stockholm, Göteborg och Malmö. På ett märkligt vis blir också dessa angivelser en form av poesi.

Magnus Haglund


Elektroakustiskt. Det lilla experimentbolaget Bombax Bombax verkar ha gjort det till sin tradition att årligen släppa tre skivor samtidigt. Samtliga handtryckta i en begränsad upplaga om 165 exempel vardera, och i år med – för musiktypen – minst sagt ovanliga omslag designade av Anna Lena Jaktlund. En av dessa tre skivor är Skog och Dals Skogar, berg och dalar. Gruppen består av elektroakustikensemblen Skog samt ljudkonstnären Anders Dahl – därav namnet. Med få givna mallar traskar de sig igenom dunkla, sinnrikt konstruerade ljudlandskap där begrepp som ”början” och ”slut” är av ringa betydelse. Utmärkande är de rent fantastiska kontrasterna mellan det försiktigt tassande piano- och slagverkspelet och de hotfulla oljudskaskader som kommer svepandes likt pustar av en elektrifierad orkan – ofta då man minst anar det. Om det inte hade varit för frånvaron av melodiska element så hade en jämförelse mellan detta och den australienske elektronikern Ben Frosts senaste mästerverk By the throat inte varit helt orimlig.En annan skiva i trion av Bombax-släpp från 2009 är slagverkarna Henrik Olsson och Erik Carlssons samarbete med de japanska oljudsmakarna Toshimaru Nakamura och Tetuzi Akiyama. Musikaliskt är det till större delen sinustoner i minimalistisk förpackning. Ibland avbrutna av kortare strömningar av brusande elektronik eller diskreta slagverksklanger. Nyanserna kräver nästan hörlurar för att uppskattas till fullo – som dock bör användas med viss försiktighet; plötsliga diskanttoner av denna sort kan vara minst sagt oförlåtande för icke anande öron.

David Olivecrona