JUTA TAKAHASHI: Silence (2011)
Updated: Nov 10
“Piano, Dulcimer and Mellotron add a splendid depth to this album which quietly leads Juta's music towards the leading names of ambient music”
1 Ararat (The view from the summit) 13:23
2 Wet Dream (A dream without special consequence) 14:33
3 Continua Shift (The flow of life) 14:45
4 Silence (Sighs of purified night) 15:27
(CD/DDL 58:29) (V.F.)
After having seduced me with the meditative approach of Hymn, Juta Takahashi does it again with an album which is more enlivened and more implosive. Released in November 2010, SILENCE is build around 4 tracks of an average time of 14 minutes. Four tracks impregnated of a certain melancholy where the Japanese master of ambient music plunges within interiority in order to moved repressed feelings. It's a nice album where the feelings float on the surface of music.
Arafat is a strange melancholic ode which hears in a somber universe of metallic tones. A synth line emerges at far and rises to undulate delicately. As an iridescent river, this line flows and leads towards a more nasal and metallic one. She wraps with a pearly heaviness the soft oscillation of the introductory line, whereas another line joins this soft morphic introduction where line over line, Arafat floats of his breaths and hybrid cosmic winds. Notes, strongly pinched, of the Dulcimer fall on these lines which get tangled such as slow cosmic waves and resound in a quite silvered musical meshing. They float, roam and draw from times to times brief melodies as well as melancholic perfumes of Japanese spiritualities. A long track where waves' noise and ringings of the Wind Chime shape a mesmerizing oceanic ode, Wet Dream flows as a river of serenity. This track to delicate movements imprinted of a fascinating melancholy begins with shimmering synth waves which shine and lap in a soft aquatic maelstrom. Chords of a Wind Chime float and ring of an impromptu way on the surface of this quixotic water, such as pebbles hopping here and there to form imperfect circles. These waves hem, such as cosmic winds, with an oniric tranquillity, while those luxurious Mellotron violins caress the slow twinkling movements, adding a soft moving depth to this cosmico-oceanic musical poem. More atonal and less musical, Continua Shift is a long linear movement where breezes and cosmic winds get intertwined in an intense broth of synth strata. These layers float and embrace in an eternal morphic dance with slow cosmic implosions which wind around this long linear trip. With its synth layers which intertwine in an ode of silence, Silence is the most implosive track of the album. It's a long crusade of serenity where moving and vibrating synth layers embrace long sighs of Mellotron and form intense implosions which throw an approach imprinted by a spiritual melancholy. Decorated by scattered piano notes, which roam among its long crisscrossing winds, Silence flows as a somber poem about peace of mind, there where nobody can enter.
How to talk about ambient music without repeating ourselves? Well, Jutaro Takahashi seems to have found a way. Although rather similar to Hymn, SILENCE distances itself by the addition of Mellotron strata which add more relief to his ambient introspections. Piano and Dulcimer notes which fall parsimoniously to wander between interweaving of synth and Mellotron layers add even more emotionalism to the music of the Japanese synthesist. But one in the other, the ambient music finds its strength in the fluidity and harmony of its movements, and in this respect, Jutaro Takahashi may easily be compared to Steve Roach, Brian Eno and other masters of contemporary ambient.
Sylvain Lupari (September 30th, 2011) *****
Available at Juta Takahashi Bandcamp