11 September 2010

Takuma Itoi - quietude (2005, Karate Joe)

Belonging to the Japanese ambient electronic scene, Takuma Itoi reminds me of Sawako, minus most of the organic side. “Quietude” is much more about digital sounds, but without sounding artificial, following narrative paths and evocative of depth and melancholic feelings, of loneliness and quietude.


There is nothing too overly optimistic here, instead there is always a certain sadness underneath his compositions. There is nothing really groundbreaking but a few tracks are very arresting and will leave you in an almost speechless state, like a contemplation of some endless and desolate landscape where a part of yourself belongs. The use of beats is sometimes similar with the production of Gas, but there is much more behind.

The longest track, “On the wind” is also the most impressive one. 8:30 minutes built on the idea of two repeated notes, like two people lost together, with doubts and an invasive sense of loss. It is really out of ordinary and i've got the impression that I may almost cry while listening to it, it's sad like a Red House Painters song, yes basically it is quite simple but never simplistic.

Even if it is clearly the standout track, there are other good things on this complex album. There is an intimate quality to this music, a delicate and soft warmth pervades slowly.  The structure of the tracks is as complex as intuitive, subtle and beautiful. “Travelator” is very atmospheric, you have the impressions to walk outside, in the countryside, between sunny intervals and episodic showers.

“Trans-” is harsher almost unpleasant, too “electronica” for its own good. “The Third Person” seems indecisive.  There is nice urgency with “Microbe”, a mix of apprehension and excitation. “Go On” is very similar to Gas and the last track “Waltz” quietens the atmosphere like daylight fading before the night, sharing a feeling of nostalgia.

Recommended.

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