Boomkat Product Review:
Nozomu Matsumoto follows up his stunning HD orchestral // text-to -speech début for The Death Of Rave with this haunting ambient soundtrack originally recorded for Maison Hermès, Tokyo, as a soundtrack for an installation by Nile Koetting. It’s undoubtedly one of the year’s most necessary and strangely apt ambient excursions; a beautiful, quietly heartbreaking trip highly recommended if you’re into 0PN, Sam Kidel, James Ferraro, TCF, Eno, Midori Takada and Japanese environmental recordings.
Arranging gorgeous, beatless ambient tropes with classic punk lyrics recited by a synthetic voice, ‘Sustainable Hours’ is a perplexing addition to the Japanese and contemporary ambient spheres. Expanding broadly on ideas and feelings of his 2018 debut ‘Climatotherapy’, here Matsumoto yields a strangely riveting, insightful perspective on well-worn cultural memes with a subversive subtlety and uncanny effect that perfectly plays into and eludes classification.
Nile Koetting’s 2016 installation for Les Liaisons ambiguës, a group show at the Ginza Maison Hermès Le Forum, curated by Reiko Setsuda, comprised a selection of devices - a wireless LAN system, Dyson humidifier, air purifier, aroma diffuser, 5.1ch home theater speaker, line array speaker system, and a robot - purchased by the artist after recommendation by Amazon.com’s algorithm. The items were placed in an “organic environment” (as on the LP cover) intended to reflect a sense of timeless space inspired by punk’s ethos of “No Future”, with Nozomu’s soundtrack of meditative pads and playfully perpendicular but poignant placement of drily synth-voiced punk lyrics acting as a sort of Situationist détournement of chronology and context.
With the original six hour installation soundtrack available in its immersive entirety on credit card USB, the vinyl LP and download features the work contracted to five shorter pieces, each playing with the seduction of classique corporate and new age ambient’s putative therapeutic properties in a gently subversive manner that recalls Sam Kidel’s ‘Disruptive Muzak’ as much as the way James Ferraro and Oneohtrix Point Never adapt the kind of early digital music used in Kankyō Ongaku works by likes of YMO’s Haruomi Hosono. But most crucially, there’s an underlying wit and soul to Nozomu’s conception of ambient music that essentially resonates with the ironies and psychic anxieties of the modern mindset and makes this soundtrack very special in its own, strangely blue light.