Boomkat Product Review:
Breathtakingly calm gossamer folkbient that sounds like a Grouper-axis survey of lo-fi 1990s indie; imagine a suite of painstakingly low-key Japanese covers of 'Heavy Water/I'd Rather Be Sleeping'. So lovely.
With the distant, forest-dwelling magical buzz of the Fonal or Jewelled Anter catalog and the next-level sing-along charm of Eartheater's towering "Phoenix", Satomimagae's "Hanazono" hits an alarming number of sweet spots for us. Ambient indie doesn't really do it justice, but in smudging the edges of melancholy guitar pop (instruments are fuzzed beyond recognition and lyrics are almost indecipherable) the band have hit upon a rich creative seam that they explore almost academically over the course of the album.
The production is lo-fi throughout, but intentionally so: every distorted tape loop feels as if it's been placed entirely purposefully to add to an aesthetic haze that sounds as if you've been teleported into a faerie kingdom. "Manuke" is a pure gem, you can just about make out words if you listen carefully, but each syllable is sucked into a dream-pop fog that gets progressively more blissful as layers of vocals build into a dense pink cloud. Percussion is mostly swerved altogether, but when Satomimagae do decide to add rhythm, it's overdriven mic-slaps that build into a decadent thump on "Numa".
"Hanzono" is a minor marvel, sounding like traces of music you just about recall woven into reassuring ambient lullabies. Imagine Tenniscoats jamming with Grouper and you'll have an idea where this one's located.