Boomkat Product Review:
Reissue of Satoshi Ashikawa’s classic of Japanese environmental/ambient/minimalism, Still Way (Wave Notation 2) - The Wave Notation series also includes Hiroshi Yoshimura’s Music For Nine Postcards album.
"The album, available on vinyl (first time since 1982) and digipack CD (with one bonus track), comes with a cover artwork by Hiroshi Yoshimura and liner notes by Midori Takada, Satoshi Ashikawa himself, and Irish producer Gareth Quinn Redmond (whose Still Way-inspired album Laistigh den Ghleo is being released simultaneously on WRWTFWW). Initially released in 1982 as part of the Wave Notation series*, Still Way is, without a doubt, a seminal Japanese environmental/ambient/minimalism album, often mentioned alongside Midori Takada’s Through Looking Glass and Hiroshi Yoshimura’s Green as one of the genre’s most important pieces.
"Like the moment of stillness, after the wind passes through the garden, when the rain stops for a brief second…" Notably inspired by Erik Satie’s Furniture Music and Brian Eno’s ambient work, Satoshi Ashikawa aimed to compose music "intended to be listened to in a casual manner, as a musical landscape or a sound object…not something that would stimulate listeners but music that should drift like smoke and become part of the environment."
The result is simply phenomenal, subtle minimalism and emotional elegance exquisitely orchestrated by Satoshi Ishikawa and his team consisting of his wife Masami Ashikawa (on flute), Midori Takada (on vibraphone), Yuko Utsumi (on harp), Tomoko Sono (on piano), and Junko Arase (on vibraphone)."