Boomkat Product Review:
Japanese multi-instrumentalist Takahiro Kido might already be known to some for his work with Anoice, whose album Remmings was released via Important Records a couple of years back. Now stepping out on his own for the reliably wonderful Plop label, Kido has made one of the most convincing and rewarding hybrids of modern composition and micro-electronics of the year so far. In addition to his own performances across a variety of instruments (including piano, guitar, glockenspiel, flute and computer) Kido has called upon a number of string players to contribute to a processed orchestral sound that dominates much of the album in its various permutations. Integral to Kido's music is a sense of location. Many of these pieces rely upon the natural reverberations of a particular space for their particular sound. Apparently, these recordings were made in abandoned hotel lobbies, up mountains and in tunnels, lending a certain spatial character the songs. Of course, for all we know this could just be promotional spiel, but regardless of where it comes from there's undoubtedly an echoic resonance cast over the string section recordings of 'Milk Tea' and 'Izze'. The effect is similar to the dewy, golden halo of reverb cast over Harold Budd recordings, and is a big part of what makes the album as evocative and emotive as it is. Any electronics used are cleverly sewn into the fabric of the music, never protruding from the acoustic source material in a jarring or inappropriately overwrought fashion. In fact, for certain pieces Kido unplugs altogether, as on the irresistibly beautiful 'Landscape With Snow'. Any followers of artists on the Type Records roster should open their ears to this album - it might just be one of the home listening trips of the year.