AMN Reviews: Chihei Hatakeyama & Hakobune – It is, It isn´t (White Paddy Mountain)

a0568954772_16As far as the archives are concerned, this is the first collaboration between two prolific Japanese wizards of atmosphere. Hakobune (Takahiro Yorifuji) layers electric guitar and Chihei Hatakeyama, on whose quality boutique label It is, It isn´t has been released, sits at a piano made of phosphorescent fog. They dovetail seamlessly in thoughtful, wordless conversation. Both are iconoclasts on the one hand and meticulous curators of the ambient tradition on the other, something that can be heard with particular clarity on “Vibrant Color,” with its swirling Enovian saucers taking off randomly, bending your head back.

All three tracks are mighty, impressionist canvases, each a little more over twenty minutes than the last. They absolutely float, at that point on the horizon where the blue of the sky meets the blue of the water and all difference dissolves. This is pluripotent ambience – it can bring you joy or it move you to tears – because it is and it isn´t. Recorded in a single day, “practically unedited” and appearing on album in the order in which they were played live.

Stephen Fruitman