Double Review :: Hakobune (Empiric)

Peerless, supple ambience, mediated over loops sets and tape layers. White and green, leaf grazing leaf.

Double Review :: Hakobune (Empiric)

Ambient guitarist Hakobune (Takahiro Yorifuji) calls this brief moment “a memory in three songs.” Each helium inflated track on Vitex Negundo (a common shrub used in folk medicine throughout southern Asia) simply wafts, as each title counsels calm, being here now. Which makes it difficult to review and easier to just recommend. Peerless, supple ambience, mediated over loops sets and tape layers. White and green, leaf grazing leaf.

Freshly-minted German label Empiric Records has also commissioned Vitex Negundo re worked & de constructed and the re & de CD is another proposition altogether. Challenge and variation are the nature of the remix compilation beast, in which individual taste plays such a decisive role for the fan of the original. The disc also serves as an introduction to a passel of relatively new, mostly Japanese artists, whose work has hitherto been chiefly available on obscure singles or intangible digital containers. Daisuke Matsusaka frees the spirit inside the physicality of “Cease to Effect” with his story of a bright summer day. DJ Nobu gives “Saying This Once” the subaquatic boogie wiggle of a sand eel emerging from its hidey-hole on the ocean floor. Katsunori Sawa granulates and Dalhas Umaï blows the powder like dust off his palm, then builds his own house (pun intended) with hammer and nails. Miclodiet makes subtle, enchanting use of Hakobune’s drift well behind his razor wire of glitch, while Foodman projects a breathtaking vaporwave planetarium show up against its curved screen.

Vitex Negundo and Vitex Negundo re worked & de constructed are available on Empiric.

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