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- Bare Strata by Chihei Hatakeyama
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There are two different editions of this CD to choose from. One is a regular price and comes in a digipak with a nice photo of some birds by Fabio Orsi on it, while the other is a bit more expensive and comes in a rather lovely looking box made from paulownia wood, from a tiny limited run of just 20 copies! On the CD itself Japambient master Hatakeyama offers two lengthy tracks - ‘Bare Strata’, recorded live in Sydney, and ‘Returning’, which was made in his studio.
The former is a gorgeous passage of swelling otherworldy drones, gliding and shimmering along beautifully to themselves. Fans of his previous work won’t be surprised with what they find, since the by-now-familiar blurred, time-stopping melodicism which runs through these drones has that same soothing, weightless euphoria he’s always been so good at. After half an hour of this, the studio track ‘Returning’ has a heavier, more cinematic feel to it with sweeping strings poking out from earth’s-core rumbles and whispering static, like the sounds of the opera drifting down to the Phantom’s labyrinth of underground caves. It’s somewhat darker and more anxious than the first piece, a Decimus-like calm before the storm type feel in contrast to the celestial dronework of the title track. An excellent addition to his already impressive body of work.
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