This is the debut album from Takaakira ‘Taka’ Goto of iconic Japanese rock explorers Mono. Here he stretches out into a myriad of styles from ambient to trip hop to industrial minimalism and modern classical and takes members of Tortoise, Mono and the Sea & Cake along for the ride.
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This lovely record reminds us that we could all do with some downtempo in our lives now and then because being low-key for a while is really one of the best ways to live. I’m a very loud boy and I believe it to be true. Weirdly this record of modest melancholy comes from none other than Takaaria ‘Taka’ Goto, one in post-rock band Mono’s number, who usually bring us to fever pitch with their highly emotive brand of crescendo sparkle. On his own as Behind The Shadow Drops, he offers a mix of archetypical neo-classical and restful trip-hop. They go together
This is low-key served with star power: ‘Harmonic’ has its clean production job on loan from John McEntire of Tortoise and Yo La Tengo fame, while much of the stringwork -- humble but harrowing, patient and heartbreaking -- comes from heavy metal cellist Helen Money, who often amps it up here simply to serve up coats of ambient wash for Goto, as on the pulsing kosmische of “Positive Shadow, Negative Light”.
This record moves through tunnels of genre and comes out the other end as a cohesive thing: it largely feels like experiments Goto can’t try in the rather stringent set-up of Mono, but it nonetheless feels painstakingly arranged and particularly paced. The record’s title track is a lilting mix of stray chord pacings, well-twined guitar meanderings and nearly subliminal bass. It rises into the kind of post-rock Goto is known for helping make reality elsewhere, but still sounds quiet and reserved, an exercise in designing the perfect environment rather than smashing it to pieces.
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- Harmonic by Behind The Shadow Drops
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