“It's a very beautiful album which brings us near sleep or our inner mind that every fan of ambient EM should have”
1 Stratosphere (Gliding through ice dust in stratosphere) 19:23
2 Faraway (So far away, so long ago) 19:23
3 Hymn (Hymn to the universe) 20:27
(CD/DDL 59:15) (V.F.)
Juta Takahashi is a Japanese artist who makes purely ambient EM since 2007. Released in January 2010, HYMN is an opus divided into 3 long musical acts of which morphic movements are unrolling into peaceful astral phases. These are 3 long tracks to different structures where the poetry and harmony of these intense atonal movements dandle in the shade of very nice modulations which insufflate a lot of emotionalism and relief to this7th opus of the Japanese synthesist.
Stratosphere opens the album with a fine wave of synth which blows such as a cosmic wind. Linear, with delicate symmetric modulations, this synth line progresses with a passion imprinted of melancholy. This long track is watered by some notes of an acoustic guitar which seem to fall from skies and resound because of the strength of their plucking. Scattered notes which fall in a fortuitous way on a long movement flowing such as a cosmic river where shine muffled stars on a structure swaying finely like interstellar waves. It's a good and long ambient track, rich in synth structures which overlap with a tranquility fed by touching floating oscillations with a kind of celestial harmony. Faraway is another long quiet movement where intermingle sharp synth winds which crisscross in an intense morphic ballet. These are beautiful ethereal impulsions which oscillate, pushed by silent cosmic waves pushing back synth waves into submerging astral territories. The tones and tints of synth layers are so deep that they bring us to a vessel of relaxation and tranquillity. Hymn, the title-track, is my favourite track on Juta Takahashi's 7th opus. It's a majestic work which reminds me of the wonderful M'Ocean from Michael Stearns. It's a great ambient movement from which silent waves rush into twinkling arpeggios and under astral choirs which murmur such as cosmic wind. A very good track, always so intense, which fills our head of dreams and forgotten hopes, which resurface as we let ourselves invaded by this submersing morphic dance.
I was very surprised by the musicality of HYMN, a musical adventure that will please undoubtedly every fan of ambient music. I denoted a lot of influences of Michael Stearns, on Faraway and of Kitaro (in particular on the title-track). Floating, inspired and morphic, the music of Juta Takahashi is a musical tale which dandles us throughout its listening, Listenings that we multiply, especially before sleep time, by its beauty and its musicality which hatch out such as intense and powerful cosmic broth. Yes, a very beautiful album which brings us as much near to sleep as our interior. It's an album that every fan of ambient EM should have.
Sylvain Lupari (October 1st, 2011) *****
Available at Juta Takahashi Bandcamp