JUTA TAKAHASHI: Miyabi (2021)
Updated: Jan 13
“This new album has a disturbing touch that pulls our emotions from the roots of our soul”
1 Stellar Light 13:56
2 Miyabi 12:50
3 Rêve Lucid 16:40
4 Devotions 18:02
(CD/DDL 61:34) (V.F.)
It's by a peaceful buzzing shadow that the synth expresses its melancholy in the opening of Stellar Light. This ambient movement builds its advance by silent impulses of fixed in the hollow of the movement during its undulation. Rarely has Juta Takahashi's music been as expressive as with his new album MIYABI. Moving as well as soothing, it flows with a purring sound that seems to hum a tune as the piano spreads its notes with the fear of not remembering its melody. But it's more like an idle layer of misty violin that uses a stray note to take flight. And always, these notes fall one by one as the mystical haze floods our senses. Playing on its density and intensity, it draws our attention to that corner of the eyelid that only holds the reality of the moment by a thread. Something has happened in Juta's music! The artist from Japan returns to his earlier symphonies of meditative music by adding a rhythmic element that moves through the intonations of his lighter, less droning layers here, except for Lucid Dream. This new album by the Asian Steve Roach has a disturbing emotional touch that pulls our emotions from the roots of our arms' hairs or our backbone. It's a bit of a rebirth like when the beautiful Albion was released in 2017.
The title-track is a little masterpiece with its piano extending a lively line where two more pensive notes are landing. This dreamy structure is sequenced, creating a minimalist acoustic rhythm that is joined by another ever-vibrant line from the piano. The orchestral haze appears about 30 seconds after the 2nd minute. Dense, it envelops intensely the ascending piano ritornello. To such a point that we forget its presence, concentrated on these orchestrations and this bass line-pulsations which fall some 2 minutes later. Developing with a creative laziness this long lyric river, Juta plays with our emotions. He inserts more passionate synth lines before some great piano beads start tinkling another 2 minutes later. Then we sit down and listen...We listen to this pure marvel making the fortune of our emotions. A superb title my friend Juta! Lucid Dream brings us back in the usual spheres of buzzing ambient music of the Japanese musician. The buzzing is linear with a vibrating effect in its sound mass that follows a long corridor from where arpeggios, organ pads and also discernible but unidentifiable noises escape at times. A real track of dark ambient music. Devotions is another tender gem on MIYABI. Although incisive, its musical texture is less droning with long synth waves adorned with a hazy fluty tone. The piano extends its notes which sparkle in this corrosive universe whose iridescent glares belong to these two elements when they meet. More parsimonious than minimalist, the melody does its work before being terrified by a slamming of metallic doors which takes us out of the torpor around the 6th minute. This impetus from the din gives a second and more orchestral breath to Devotions with atmospheric elements such as a waterfall and the chirpings of fictitious birds. The piano returns with a languidness that makes the sound of its notes lose their sounds in this latent crescendo of orchestrations that reach emotive peaks yo-yoing with that anaesthetizing mist and its inviting steel blue color.
Splendid on the vast majority of its journey, MIYABI is offered in manufactured CD, as well as in downloadable HQ format, in a beautiful sound realization and an artwork that does justice to the music. A magnificent album my dear Juta Takahashi.
Sylvain Lupari (January 13th, 2022) ****½*
Available at Juta Takahashi Bandcamp