On Moss, composers Ken Ikeda and Chihei Hatakeyama produce a dense and organic ambient music for White Paddy Mountain. Gorgeous bell tones, electronic textures and traditional Japanese instruments, sampled and then made almost unrecognizable, are subtly blended together. This Japanese CD contains a bubbling and entrancing ocean of sound.
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- Moss by Ken Ikeda ＋ Chihei Hatakeyama
7/10 Jim Staff review, 11 January 2016
The ever-prolific Tokyo-based ambienteer Chihei Hatakeyama presents a series of collaborations that span over two years with improvising minimalist Ken Ikeda (who has previously collaborated with John Russel and Eddie Prevost as well as releasing solo material on Touch, among other labels). As with Chihei’s previous releases, there’s a kind of everyday lightness to the chiming melodic patterns and delicately flowing tones of ‘Moss’, all of which make a refreshing change from the epic darkness that consumes so much current ambient music.
The album is structured to reflect particular moments at different times of the day or year, which I think accounts for sense of ease conveyed in the music and the drama that comes from subtle shifts in atmosphere instead of grandiose gestures; these tracks feel more like daydreams than apocalyptic visions. In the same way, the bright, airy arpeggios of the album’s early tracks give way to some distinctly more shadowy closers, with unusual feedback tones resonating behind the melody of ‘Tsuyu To Kie’ and the vaguely nightmarish ‘Inei’ bringing things to an oddly disconcerting end. Well worth checking out if you're a fan of labels like Kranky, Line or Room 40.
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