Boomkat Product Review:
When Carsten Nicolai and Ryuichi Sakamoto got together to record 2003’s “Vrioon”, it probably hadn’t occurred to them that they were single-handedly re-positioning minimal piano music at the head of the electronic food chain.
Sure, Richard D James introduced his army of devotees to the works of Satie on his sprawling “Drukqs”, but “Vrioon” managed to intigrate the discipline into something altogether new and unfamiliar. To imagine that a follow-up might match the transparent loveliness of the original, not to mention transcend its soul-searching beauty, would, at best, seem unlikely. And yet as soon as you hear the opening, lonely notes of the incredible “Aurora” you realise that the pair have once again realised an ambition to embed complex discpilines into a sound that’s archetypal.
“Insen” finds Carsten Nicolai treating Ryuichi Sakamoto’s cascading piano compositions with a surgeon’s hand, embelishing notes and melody with a tapestry of digital breakages that seem to envelop the whole album with a reflective neon glow, becoming a vessel for all the emotions and memories provided by the listener.