Nobukazu Takemura — Hoshi no Koe
(Thrill Jockey thrill094, 2001, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2001-07-01After working in fields as diverse as minimalism (on the Reich Remixed album), jazz, and techno, Nobukazu Takemura presents an album of music that fuses a wide range of styles into something all his own. Takemura has graduated from turntablist to modern composer, creating his music primarily with computers, and the result is like nothing I’ve heard before. The long track “Anemometer” combines floating circular keyboard lines with percussion parts that range from simplistic to chaotic, like an Aphex Twin or Squarepusher song played simultaneously with Philip Glass. “Honey Comb” is little more than a series of bleeps and squawks and static that manages to have a structure and make musical sense. This is immediately followed by “White Sheep and Small Light,” a charming bit of chamber music for flutes, clarinet, strings, and marimba. “Sign” starts with more non-musical sounds, but integrates them into a drum loop and adds keyboard sequences and an electronic voice. This is electronic music from another planet, bearing little relation to earthly techno. Hoshi No Koe, I’m told, translates as Notes from a Starry Sky, an appropriate title for such otherworldly music. Parts of it could be considered difficult listening, but on the whole, there’s a childlike feeling to Takemura’s creations that never ceases to amaze me. This is one of the best electronic albums I’ve heard in some time, and absolutely unique, proving once and for all that programming is a valid way to put sounds together, and needn’t sacrifice emotion.
Related artist(s): Nobukazu Takemura
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more