AIKO TAKAHASHI – IT COULD HAVE BEEN A BEAUTIFUL
The IIKKI series (which comes from the same creative source as the ongoing Laaps series) presents its 22nd edition. As always, each IIKKI releases pairs the music to a photography book: this edition presents the work of French photographer Edouard Elias in dialogue with Aiko Takahashi – an electronic music producer from Kobe, Japan.
It remains unclear who exactly this Aiko Takahashi is: she ‘is a concept, an entity, a ghost that appears only through her own music’, who has previously released under other (unmentioned) names, but ‘materialized’ as Aiko in 2022. (It makes me wonder if there is any relation to Iu Takahashi, who recently released an album through Laaps. But based on their description this probably is a coincidence.)
There are four tracks on this album (three on the vinyl version but the missing track is available in the download that comes with it). Each track title completes the album title: It Could Have Been A Beautiful … Afternoon / Evening / Night / Morning.
Each track is a sound collage ‘cut, stitched together and reassembled to give shape and restore unity from the fragments’. All have the natural freshness of a summer day/night.
As usual for the IIKKI releases, this is available as a combined package (LP or CD with book), or as separate items.
PHONSONIC – TAPESTRY OF ECHOES
After Spectral Drift (2022) and Chrome (2023), Tapestry Of Echoes is the new album presented by Phonsonic. Phonsonic is Alexander Caminada – not only a musician but also a professional photographer (see his site for details) who in the past delivered artwork for releases from Roger Eno, Michael Brook, and Djivan Gasparyan. (Which is not directly related to his own musical output but I think it’s a nice detail to mention).
Without echo (and reverb), ambient music would probably not exist. On Tapestry Of Echoes, ‘the tools of reverb and echo become a metaphor for repeated events. Events that are never quite the same and add new layers to an evolving journey. New stories emerge and resonate with space’.
However, Caminada subtly uses these tools in these tracks and cleverly avoids overusing them. The (seven) tracks, created with ‘hard and soft synths, modular experiments and field recordings’ all have a nice relaxing atmosphere (not unlike some of the work of Biosphere) – with considerably less effect than used in – say – the average dub-reggae track. ‘The ambient foundations are always present, rooted in hums and quiet murmur. Resonances peaking but balanced by the depth of a grounding bass’.
On one track, Dream Song, Caminada proudly introduces the (samples) vocal contribution of his grand-daughter Myla, but otherwise this album is fully instrumental.
Tapestry Of Echoes is only available as a digital download.