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31 october 2009
photography & artwork: delphine ancelle-b.
japanese sound-artist chihei hatakeyama released his first solo cd in 2006 thanks to kranky. he has since released various other records on spekk or room40. his music could be described as structured soundscapes based on processed acoustic sounds, mainly acoustic guitar on this 3".
1. white sun
Four new releases in the ever expanding horizon of Taalem, and curious enough all four are by Japanese musicians. The first one is by an artist who already had some releases on Kranky, Spekk, Room40 and recently on Hibernate (see Vital Weekly 699). One piece here, almost twenty-four minutes. The sine wave drone like opening quickly expands into some sort of processed instruments, most likely to be a guitar and some granular synthesis. In the past I wasn't blown away by Hatakeyama works, but I thought this one was quite nice. Not highly original, maybe a bit long, but nevertheless a piece that works well in the warm microsound ambient glitch sun. [...] (FdW)
Chihei Hatakeyama is a sound artist from Tokyo. He plays as a solo artist, but is also involved in a band Opitope, along with Tomoyoshi Date. He has releases out starting from 2006 and this is first on Taalem.
White Sun is one long soundscape of around 23 minutes. The music is very warm ambient merged with acoustic sounds. It also has a very nice Asian feel to it, which gives it a kind of Zen quality. The music evolves from a more minimal structure to a very deep and soothing sound world.
A very nice release from Taalem. Somewhat different than the usual ambient drone. This one incorporates a lot of Asian sound influences, which gives it a nice authentic touch. Highly recommended. (Fabian)
Cant remember if I already reviewed the second-to-last batch that Jean-Marc - boss of this label devoted to contemporary ambient and relative derivates - had sent me earlier (hopefully yes and, in any case, thanks JM!). Yet I managed to listen to these four several times, in different conditions. Speakers are highly recommended for all these 3-inch CDs.
The best of the batch, and not by a little. A mesmerizing soundscape constructed upon gently wavering guitars that sound like if their wooden bodies were left to float in a placid sea under the summer sun. The winning card is constituted by the slight, but extremely effective harmonic shift occurring after 15 minutes or so which creates a fascinating movement in the music, thus rendering the piece a true composition that can live autonomously, beyond its ambient status. The plucked strings (some of them acoustic guitars, others perhaps kotos, the rest is there to be guessed) are very well deployed amidst the vapours, the consequent underlying reverberations unquestionably beautiful. Hatakeyama has already published records on Kranky, Spekk and Room40, and it shows. [...] (Massimo Ricci)
Programme exclusivement japonais pour cette nouvelle livraison de CD-Rs trois pouces du label parisien Taâlem (disponibles également sous forme de fichiers FLAC), qui frappe une fois encore par sa cohérence éditoriale. Car les points communs ne sont pas que géographiques entre les quatre projets présentés ici, mais tissent au contraire une véritable petite toile enchevêtrée de références qui sous-tend l'ensemble de ces sorties. Les choses commencent doucement avec Chihei Hatakeyama (Opitope) qui, avec White Sun, poursuit dans la veine entamée par ses albums publiés chez Kranky ou Room40, celle d'une musique profondément travaillée qui, à partir de sources acoustiques, comme une guitare ici, rendue méconnaissable à travers de multiples traitements numériques, devient matière liquide, mémoire trouble qui se drape d'étranges fluorescences. [...] (Jean-François Micard)
In his 2009 Release 'White Sun,' sound artist Chihei Hatakeyama takes the listener on a journey through a single, 23 minute track of textured feedback washing into a canvas of acoustic guitars painted very carefully, very delicately to create virtual dreamscapes. If you haven't been to the beach or flown over snow capped mountaintops... you'll feel like you had; you might even question the reality of these images if you let yourself go in this beautifully rich, warmly ambient piece. With it's morphing landscapes and flowing layers, it doesn't get stale, only more entrancing and after these 23 minutes, even the most savage of beasts will be properly soothed. (Barton Graham)