Above The Desert is the latest album by drone alchemist Chihei Hatakeyama, using what sounds like heavily-treated guitar to carve out long spirals of graceful tonal shimmer. The listener floats slowly Above The Desert, looking down upon the gentle eddies of the sand. Digipak-housed CD release on the Dronarivm label.
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- Above The Desert by Chihei Hatakeyama
8/10 Jamie Staff review, 24 January 2017
So, it’s a kinda atypical Tuesday afternoon here at the Towers. What with the boss having a ‘work from home’ day, and the office stereo seeping out more blissful ambience than we’re used to. Today has been… productive, of course, in a calm and collected way. Now the cherry on top of the cake is this beauty of a CD from one of Tokyo’s finest ambient sound-scapers.
Chihei Hatakeyama has been plying us with his treated guitars and laptop-enhanced textures for many a year now -- Discogs confirms that at his current work rate he’ll be up to his 50th full-length release by the end of 2020. His latest, on Dronarivm, was inspired by looking at the desert and the sky, and feeling the push and pull of air and sand between those two vast expanses.
It’s an experience to flow with; the mind effortlessly conjures up the ebb and flow of the grains making up the endlessly shifting desert landscape. Chihei says that the sounds seemed to be softly ‘blowing’ as the output streamed out of his guitar amplifier. Tonalities gently swell and fade as delicate patterns emerge from the far distance. As ever, an enchanting listen.
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