JUTA TAKAHASHI: Music for Urban Promenades (2020)
Updated: Nov 10
“There is a form of life in this album that constantly gives the impression that the moods get too lively”
1 Music for Urban Promenades 71:42
(CD/DDL 71:42) (V.F.)
Everything comes from afar! A climbing wave and faint ringings, it looks like the chirping of locusts with overweight, increase their presence as they reach our earlobes. From that moment, MUSIC FOR URBAN PROMENADES flood our ears with a suspended sound flow, giving free rein to this symphony of bells, tinkles and industrial chirps tinkling, singing and resounding between the fine lines of a bluish fog. During a trip to Yokohama, a city in Japan, in the early 2010s, Juta Takahashi visited an indoor mall in Minato Mirai. During his walk, he noticed a slight sound of bells that came intermittently. The sound of the speakers hidden along the promenade hinted at a mini symphony of clear ringing bells. He thought it got along well with the environment. He even found the experience rewarding. Since being impressed with what he calls an excellent ambiance, the Japanese Steve Roach has been dreaming of replicating something similar. And he believes he achieved it with MUSIC FOR URBAN PROMENADES. And the truth of this fact lies in our attitude towards listening. The album was produced at low volume. It's therefore important, even essential, to listen to it while respecting this scale. Otherwise, you will never be able to connect to this great album. I know it for having tried it ...
The tinkling becomes buzzing, of which the low tones struggle to pierce this wall of crickets which seem to survive fairly well in the underground sidewalks. This long piece of music evolves in a very minimalist state. The arrival of sound drones brings a little musical warmth to this universe of bells where the big ones intervene only in short, well-scattered moments, the Japanese sound sculptor preferring to inject a Tibetan and /or Hindu harmony into this symphony for an underground promenade. There are brief moments of light, a la Michael Stearns, that make us believe that the music is ideal for sleeping. Han Han! There is a form of life in this album that constantly gives the impression that the moods get too lively compared to an ideal source for bedtime. It's also true that industrial chirping can reach peaks of invisible acuity, but present. Despite this, the music is ideal for igniting our imaginations during a session of meditation or cerebral lounging. Our ears manage to cross a bassline creeping harmoniously here and there, giving a fairly Steve Roach appearance during his nightly sessions. These moments give me the chills.
I'm not a fan of Brian Eno, but it remains the best example to describe this ambient symphony but surprisingly melodious with all these various tinkles that manage to play with the stars. Music for Urban Promenades II has just landed on the Net. A beautiful work of creation my dear Juta!
Sylvain Lupari (November 9th, 2020) ***¾**
Available at Juta Takahashi Bandcamp