Boomkat Product Review:
Contemporary Ambient music by two promising Japanese sound designers: Okada Takuro and duenn
"After works by Jim O'Rourke, Ana Da Silva & Phew, Tokyo based Newhere Music releases this concept album by Okada Takuro + duenn: "Urban Planning".Duenn has been working with labels from all over the world including Entr'acte (Belgium) and Past Inside The Present (US). His experimental unit 3RENSA with Merzbow and Nyantora has performed with legendary sound designer Matsuo Ohno (Astro Boy) and artist Shohei Tsuda. In recent years, duenn's work can be heard at galleries and exhibitions, including a recent collaboration with Shiho Yoshida.
After Moriwaikiteiru disbanded, Okada Takuro started his solo projects with his debut album "Nostalgia". Apart from songwriting, Okada is also active as a producer and in film score. The Urban Planning album project started from a sparkle in a discussion between Okada and duenn, with "sound of the city" as a keyword. What should be ambient music in our life, in the present time?
Respect of Ambient musicians and contemporary artists since the 80s, such as Yukio Fujimoto and Hiroshi Yoshimura to name a few, can be recognized in this album. However, the two artists are not trying to recreate the past masterpieces and instead, they are taking the cities of the 2020s as their raw material of inspiration. The tracks are concise and comprehensive, and the album has a precise concept with primitive melodies by duenn. duenn and Okada have clearly divided roles during the making, with duenn for the first time on melodies, and Okada on editing and producing. It is also interesting that duenn chose to use GarageBand, a tool accessible to all, for his first melody-making. For the listeners, the touch of simplicity may well remind them of the lullabies in their childhood.
The artists have spent two years on this creation. Imagine the commuter trains, the cars, your room, your local park for a walk. This is the sound of the city, blent into every moment in urban life."