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Inspired, sure enough, by a naturally occurring astral phenomenon -- happening twice recently, apparently -- Tamaru & Chihei Hatakeyama set about making their considered Lunar Eclipse record. Tamaru coaxes appropriately ethereal sounds out of his bass while Chihei enacts his usual supreme, sublime control over his electric guitar. Together they weaved a delicate tapestry of harmonics and light. One for starry nights and misty mornings. Aaaannd.. breathe.


CD £13.49 WPMC047

Japanese CD on White Paddy Mountain. Edition of 300 copies.

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Lunar Eclipse by Tamaru & Chihei Hatakeyama
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8/10 Jamie Staff review, 15 August 2017

As a textural sound-mapper, Chihei Hatakeyama is a guy who likes his monaural approach, slowly unspooling his ideas as parallel strands of wool for you guys /me to stretch within and cosy up to. He’s a musician of many sides -- having been a metaller some time back, as you know :-) -- and has commented before that he has felt as if he were ‘fading away’ as he channeled his softly droning brand of ambient. So here’s one for you equally lovely people to fade away to.

Or rather, to melt to. Chihei really does seem big of heart; his sounds become ever more expansive to my ears. Drafting in Tamaru this time on electric bass, the two jam quietly in space, to concoct something inextricably spacious -- of space, of galaxies -- in sound. In space, nobody can see you dream. You just do it in your own time, OK? All right then.

So, for Lunar Eclipse -- inspired by a heavenly phenomenon occurring often enough to witness / read about / become interested in -- it has embodied the muse for Chihei and Tamaru enough this time for two longform tracks -- or ‘Eclipses’ -- bookending an Interlude.

For twenty-minute drone number 1, the guys make the most wispy, featherlight channels to work within, Chihei’s electronics & processed guitar getting the full ‘spaced-the-hell-out’ treatment. Tamaru does some cool, blissed-out humming stuff on his bass and there are the most subtle of plucks as the track fades. Having approached a state of near-nirvana, the duo break out to produce zither-like effects on their radiating instruments, the notes and timbres hanging in the air like the shadows of our planet upon its moon. It’s the coveted winner of the most fragile, nearly-not-there-at-all piece of the week. In my world, anyway.

Finally, on Eclipse II Tamaru makes his bass sound like a prepared piano somehow. It’s a darker, more lo-fi sound than you might expect from the two; it’s a breathtaking moment: a total eclipse of a four-minute intro creeping in to a more widescreen vision, opening out as the fluffy electronics kick in. To take us floating back down into moonlit territory once more. Ah, the relief... The raw emotion of it all. He’s only gone and done it again, hasn’t he?


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