“Last Goodbye” in Chain D.L.K.

This lush and contemplative set of sonorities by the Japanese ambient producer Hirotaka Shirotsubaki are strictly related to the recent end of Heisei age. Started on 11th January 1989 and came to an end on 30th April 2019, Heisei is nothing but the age of 125th Emperor of Akihito, who recently abdicates the Chrysanthemum Throne in favor of his son Naruhito, so beginning the Reiwa era. In Hirotaka’s own words, printed on the in-lay: “In Japan, the era called “Heisei” will end this year. My life was with this “Heisei” era. In order to live a new era with one break at the end of this era while I am alive, I have decided the title of this album to be “last goodbye” with a determination of parting. The 6 tracks that make up this album have my memory fragments scattered around”. For a transition between an age whose name means ‘peace everywhere’ (even if I won’t say Japan has known a so peaceful era, considering sad facts like the attempt in the metro of Tokyo by Aum Shirinkyo or the Fukushima Daichii nuclear disaster, following the devastating tsunami that hit Japan on 11th March 2011) and the following one, whose name means ‘beautiful harmony’, Hirotaka’s music can perfectly fit this ideal passage. The record that worked as a Cupid’s arrow for KrysaliSound was “Wet Petals”, fired by Naviar Records in 2017, and the six movements that Kobe-based musician forged for this flirt with the label managed by Francis M.Gri (who also mastered the album) has many similarities with that entrancing workout. After some seconds of fade-in, the listener gets wrapped by fluffy soundscapes, based on sampled guitars, masterfully effected and elongated in a way that the listener can feel each amplified sound wave. My favorite tracks are “Rokko”, where the reverb at the basis of the just described effected gets enhanced by slight delays, “Sputnik”, where Hirotaka adds that glimmering stress to the tone stream that project listener’s mind towards astral trips, and “December Snow”, whose icy tones get paradoxically warm by means of the way the musician envelops the aural space.

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