Chihei Hatakeyama – Mirror
CD – Room40
Chihei Hatakeyama, the Japanese investigator, is remembered for his debut album inspired by the philosophic works of Theodor W. Adorno. “Minima Moralia” was published by Kranky Records in 2006: from then on, Hatakeyama’s research has centered on very dilated sequences that are constantly reprocessed in a mix of drones, atmospheric patterns and quietist passages, which remain very vivid and participatory, rich in splendor and captured ambiance. Refined lyrical atmospheres are predominant in “Mirror” and are completed by constant references, sound reverberations and thick elaborations that seem to flow in equal measure from specific philosophical reflections: in this case from the very spiritual meditations of the Kofun era (Japan in the period between 250 and 538 AD). In that period the concept of “reflection” was thoroughly examined, not only as a metaphor for the sun, but also for its intrinsic ability to move and transmit light from one place to another. In the same way, the composer now records his scores in instrumental passages that modulate by layers and reverberations, recording the resulting material and “bouncing” the effects to another spatial position. A very particular and evolving sound is gently agitated in the seven tracks of this album: the inspiration never falls prey to hesitations in the threads, drawing scenes of melancholic passion and torment that are never stressed or inconsistent in defining the whole structure. This is an interesting release which confirms the quality of the multidisciplinary artistic explorations undertaken by Room40.