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Prolific sound artist Chihei Hatakeyama returns with Requiem for Black Night and Earth Spiders. Here the artist manipulates sound files of guitars and transforms them into baffling drone and ambient soundscapes. Somehow Hatakeyama processes the sounds into unrecognizable forms which are both delicate and grand, whilst exploring Japanese folklore as well.


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Requiem for Black Night and Earth Spiders by Chihei Hatakeyama
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7/10 Laurie Staff review, 24 March 2016

Chihei Hatakeyama has a big heart. Not only does he make 26 minute long tracks in the key of lovely, but he also dedicates them to some 3rd Century victims of invasion whose captors forced them to mine stuff. This goes out to you, ‘earth spiders’.

His characteristic slow-moving simple tones are at the forefront here, hanging for a while like a point of light in the gloom of a cavernous reverb. Only one recording of a guitar was used in this, giving it it’s minimal quality, though you can’t recognise is as our favourite strummer. Even when the tones gel harmoniously, there’s a foreboding edge to the sound, and before you know it, some spooky warning notes rise out of his ambient machine. It’s good to hear this sort of stuff though, you don’t want 26 minutes of pure warmth, do you?

Alas, I can only review part one. But as that’s 26 minutes alone, and the other 2 parts approx 50 minutes between them, it’s fair to say that there’s gonna be something to zone out to. From a speak peek of part III I can confirm that it gets less foreboding. It’s slightly texturally homogenous so far though, which isn’t exactly what I like in the ambient/drone world, but I know that it’s a much loved centrepiece of the genre so you can ignore me.


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