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chihei hatakeyama - Ghostly Garden
The incredibly industrious Chihei Hatakeyama cues up yet another sublime collection of introspective ambient electronics, having given us his previous effort (the no less delightful A Long Journey, on the Home Normal label) as recently as last week. Ghostly Garden combines new sound sources with older, recycled files that have appeared in prior releases, yet Hatakeyama's music retains its freshness, achieving that rare sense of stillness and depth that only the very best exponents of micro-drone come close to. First track, 'Shadows' is typically seductive, transmitting hypnotic flickers of warm tonality that don't really go anywhere in a narrative sense, yet fix your attention regardless. In addition to this Japanese composer's now customary hushed electroacoustics, this album features a strong showing of more luscious, effervescent material too, even approaching abrasion on the billowing 'Stone Wall Island' and the chaotic melange of field recordings that is 'Slight Trail', which offers up a rainbow of electroacoustic hues. Another fine addition to this man's rapidly swelling discography, and a release that's easy to recommend to all fans of Room40, 12k, Spekk and Home Normal, all of which, incidentally, are labels Hatakeyama has already contributed to - a fact that's a sure indicator of just how integral to this scene the Japanese artist has become.