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Previously self-released as a limited edition cassette in 2015, this single track 30-minute piece is a slow-release pill of organic and ambient bliss that begs to be on repeat in the morning hours. Danish collage artist (responsible for his own cover art) and musician Paw Grabowski is back on my rotation with Stilhedens Strømmen I Fuglenes Blod for KrysaliSound imprint. His previous appearance was with Væv which was released by Eilean in 2016. Centered on solo-guitar motifs, Grabowski uses repetition of phrases, offset by field recordings of a natural environment, to create a neo-folksy reverie, played around the campfire in a brisk and quiet dusk. “The result is a spiritual and meditative flow where the listener can dive and let himself be lulled by repeating melodies, evocative small variations and a great hypnotic style.” Besides the latter citation, I also want to quote Brian Housman‘s words for Stationary Travels, calling this a highly meditative piece: “[…] this is one of Grabowski’s most sparse, delicate, and beautiful works as he allows generous space around the clean guitar lines, bathing them in light filtered through the sheerest of veils. Cue the subtle chorus of birdsong in the background and we are gently transported away to an Arcadian dream…” Be sure to also check out Grabowski’s alternate soundtrack to Chris Marker‘s 1962 film, La Jetée, which is titled He remembers there were gardens, along with nearly 20+ releases in the last four years alone from this prolific artist. Things can only get better from here on out.


Questa uscita dell’etichetta Krysalisound – ovvero Night’s Highest Noon, opera di debutto dei Klās’tĭk, duo formato da Masaya Hijikata e Andrea Koch  – è veramente particolare: si tratta di un disco di musica di avanguardia che potrebbe risultare ostico ad un ascolto superficiale: tuttavia richiede molto impegno anche da parte degli ascoltatori più avvezzi a certe sonorità. Si avverte, ascoltando questo lavoro, che c’è alla base un duro e rigoroso lavoro di ricerca: non a caso Night’s Highest Noon  è il frutto di 2 anni di sperimentazioni in studio in cui il risultato finale è un affascinante connubio fra antico e moderno. L’obiettivo, indubbiamente ambizioso, è quello di creare un nuovo linguaggio musicale attraverso la sovrapposizione di voci, percussioni ed elettronica. Le ambientazioni create alla fine sono molto minimali: le percussioni creano una sorta di vortice tribale che evoca antichi riti ancestrali ormai dimenticati mentre gli elementi elettronici mantengono ancorata la musica alla modernità. E’ difficile fare paragoni con esperienze del passato anche se, facendo andare la memoria agli anni ’70, possono venire in mente, almeno a livello di atmosfera e suggestione, certe sperimentazioni di gruppi italiani come i N.A.D.M.A.. Tuttavia siamo di fronte ad una proposta assolutamente originale e questo è sicuramente un merito: ci sono sicuramente dei richiami alla cultura orientale e, in particolare, a quella giapponese. E’ un album che potrebbe piacere agli amanti dell’ambient anche se chi è abituato ai quieti e pacati paesaggi sonori di Brian Eno e Steve Roach dovrebbe andarci con i piedi di piombo. Alla fine Night’s Highest Noon è un folle impasto di ambient-jazz, psichedelia e avanguardia in cui la musica procede attraverso stratificazioni sonore ardite e momenti realmente concitati e tribali. L’iniziale  “Chauvet” è emblematica in questo senso: voci mistiche si alternano a ritmi tribali dando vita ad un impasto sonoro di grande fascino e poesia. Non mancano però anche i momenti più eterei e pacati dove possiamo farci cullare dalle armonie minimali delle voci e degli archi come nella traccia “Delle marianne”. Al contrario un brano come “Regina coeli” è un coacervo di ritmiche impazzite e futuriste, un po’ il simbolo della realtà folle in cui ci troviamo a vivere. In definitiva il rischio, in produzioni di questo tipo, è che venga meno l’emozione, un aspetto che considero fondamentale nella fruibilità della musica: non è fortunatamente questo il caso di Night’s Highest Noon che riesce ad avere un senso ad essere comunicativo


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øjeRum è il progetto di musica ambientale del musicista danese – e artista – Paw Grabowski. øjeRum ha ormai alle spalle una discografia abbastanza numerosa: dal 2014 ha pubblicato oltre 20 dischi per varie etichette. Nel 2015 era uscito The Forest Is Sleeping Within The Trees per la Scissor Tail Editions, all’epoca suo terzo lavoro. Ora la KrysaliSound, label devota alla produzione di ambient, ha deciso di renderlo nuovamente disponibile in una nuova edizione rimasterizzata. The Forest Is Sleeping Within The Trees è diviso in 6 parti e  farà la gioia di quanti hanno amato musicisti seminali come Brian eno, Harold Budd e adorano le composizioni minimali di William Basinski. La struttura musicale è molto semplice e minimale: un organo, inframmezzato dai suoni di un pianoforte etereo e irreale, crea un’atmosfera quasi sacrale sospesa al di là del tempo e dello spazio. E’ una musica quieta e molto meditativa, ideale per scacciare le cattive vibrazioni mentre si lascia viaggiare la mente verso paesaggi interiori dell’anima. Sembra quasi di avvertire una tensione spirituale tesa verso la ricerca di significati nascosti e sepolti: le immagini evocate sono estremamente astratte e desolate e dipingono luoghi dimenticati e abbandonati dall’uomo. Si avverte una sensibilità decadente che lascia trasparire l’essenza di un artista integro. Lasciarsi cullare dalle tenui ambientazioni create da øjeRum è realmente un’esperienza unica e trascendente

A soothing glimmering comes out of the horizon on Hirotaka  Shirotsubaki’s “Last Goodbye”. Such lush sound it is easy to get lost in its many aural curls. Truly lovely the melodies have a tremendous richness to them akin to grand almost lost symphonies. It is a testament to their skill that these sounds are recovered from the skies and gently brought back down to Earth. Best of all these songs neatly fold into each other creating a rich tapestry of sound that recalls William Basinski, Stars of the Lid, and Stephan Mathieu’s elaborate ghostly emissions.
The aptly named “Autumn Blanket” explores the concept of decay in the best way possible. Radiating tremendous warmth, the piece at times feels akin to radiators starting up in an old creaky apartment building a welcome sound for sure of those wordless choirs. Continuing down this path “December Snow” captures the intrinsic happiness that comes from watching snow from so far away, noticing the seasonal changes and being completely protected from the elements. Low-slung little drones merge to become one with the blissful “Minatogawa”. Slick forms of minimalism take shape on the album highlight, the pastoral grandeur of “Rokko” which recalls vast open spaces. Ebbing and flowing in a contemplative way “solitude” has a unique, deeply moving quality behind it. Nearly otherworldly, the classical cadences of “Sputnik” has a cleverness to it as it brings the album to a close.  Achingly beautiful, Hirotaka Shirotsubaki’s “Last Goodbye” goes for a natural sort of grace one that seems timeless.


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A painterly patience persists throughout the whole of øjeRum’s ghostly “The Forest Is Sleeping Within The Trees”. Dissecting bits of classical to reveal its true soulfulness everything about these pieces radiates a bit of mystery. Inclusion of tiny details, from little creaks of noise to larger-scale drones. By including so much the aural universe feels real and fully formed. Carefully crafted melodies linger in gorgeous haze for far longer, as nothing ever really fully disappears. Everything about the album ensures that the memories exist and persist long after the pieces have ended. Letting each piece contain its own unique style while cutting from the same cloth means the entirety comes together in a unified whole.
Slow and steady “Part 1” has a nostalgic hue to it as the rhythm is ever so light and gentle. Akin to a form of tiptoeing, the piece never overwhelms. On “Part 2” an aching yearning takes over as the song further evolves with its own spirit, at times recalling William Basinski’s “Melancholia”. Things stretch out a little bit on the dreamy hue of “Part 3”. “Part 4” almost perfectly dovetails into the last piece, as it brings new detail to the theme. Further dissecting it comes “Part 5”. Highly elegant with its refined deeper frequencies “Part 6” ends the album on a stately note.
“The Forest Is Sleeping Within The Trees” shows off øjeRum’s uncanny knack to create whole worlds, ones just beyond perception.

There is something ingrowing, solid, and partially sepia-tinted, too, about the work of Klas’tik. “Night’s Highest Noon” moves in Bosch washing machine, turned seventies tumble dryer notions of jazz and ambient. It is pivoted on a drum and drone, as opposed to drum and bass, ambient jazz suite, with an assortment of ageing honey-possessed voices, as in vocal identities made up as vocal tracks. Also, dainty percussion ditties, as in drums as ornamental phrases of layer. And carving out of soluble edifice, importantly like gasoline contained with an HGV-load of “Torque” style tunes (see track three here).​​​
Comparisons can be drawn to the likes of electronics dabblers Excepter. And in Nu Jazz territory the elasticism in percussion of Chick Corea. Psychedelic swirls pirouette as longing meets reverb heavy impending sonic objects. The aspect on “sonic” is a slow build – don’t think Sonic The Hedgehog, think Tails The Snail instead. Certainly, the music benefits from being introduced to the public in the era where post-rock was twenty years its father. Collated as a continuously mixed mosaic style art piece – with the emphasis on grindstone art over dancing about sonic architecture, the music is in graceful stasis all the time. Pluck a vocal aria, you’ll touch the wind with your hair stretched out straight. ​​
Because this music is magnetic. Klas’tik is an antithesis to spasm. Nothing spasticated in the most non-insulting sense of the term, and very fluid as such. Yet all the pieces of sound – take the start of second track “Airtight Decoration” – are so cogently pieced alongside one another, so ingeniously formed, that I’m really stumped as a reviewer how exactly they pulled it all off so effortlessly. “Night’s Highest Noon” is a great piece of art, talking of art as “period piece”, fangling off the philology to “creating peace”. ​​
Whereas most jazz can be found to lack melodic integrity, the substance here: all eddying melodic loops and consonant buoyancy in instrumental fluidity, takes the free kick of Krysalisound label exposure to new research magnitude. Krysalisound should be treated as a truly just love. I enjoy the music greatly, even if the most hardened critics can only uncover meaning by burrowing into the scaly infinitude. Honestly there is so much to hear here, the amount of sheer scale is not in longitude to the doubt. ​​
Throughout the pieces, drums whip like vines, and are successful in their chiming logic. The percussion sounds dark and dapper. The gaseous intricacies of sound design underneath perfectly match the red wine march on offer – a tipsy Tiddlywinks match where drums flip to score. In any event, this release for I is getting a high mark. It might even be my experimental LP of 2018. That’s high praise indeed. A bit like night’s highest noon, you could say. What’s your fill: a smoke or some alcohol? I’ll settle for half a shandy. Bottoms up.


Sometimes it’s good to step out of your musical comfort-zone and into strange sonic territories. I guess that’s what the good people from Krysalisound must have been thinking when they signed this odd duo. Mostly known for their soothing ambient releases, the label now unleashed something unusual, to say the least.
​klās’tĭk is the duo of Andrea Koch and Masaya Hijikata. One lives in Berlin but has Italian roots, the other resides in Warwaw although born in Japan. So the cultural background of klās’tĭk is quite eclectic, so I guess it’s no surprise that their music is quite eclectic too.
It all begins with a song called ‘Chauvet’. At first, the song calmly explores the regions of experimental ambient and live looping, only to evolve into something ritual with eerie vocals and  glitchy percussion. ‘Airtight Decoration’ then drags the whole thing into the world of jazz, mostly characterized by the drums. Somewhere in the back of my imagination, Tom Yorke is jamming with Autechre and the Dale Cooper Quartet. ‘Torque’, a brilliant piece of drone-jazz somewhat follows that example, but without the vocals. That’s probably why ‘Torque’ is my favorite track on this album with its pulsating soundscapes, complex drums and an almost magical atmosphere.
Every track on this album has its own story to tell, and it’s rarely something easy-digestible. ‘Night’s Highest Noon’ is chaotic and strange, and so is its follower ‘Commuters’. Yet, here too, beyond the intense elements of free-jazz, there are unexpected loops and sounds, turning each song into something you have probably never heard before. I guess it’s up to you to decide if that’s good or bad. All I know is that this is a baffling debut, one that needs time and effort to be explored. Or in other words: this is glitchy jazzbient at its very best. I don’t know if that is a genre but it covers the load quite well. Interesting debut….


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Sometimes an album works so inspiring that a lot of words flow through my keyboard without actually describing the album itself. This album, a remastered reissue of  Paw Grabowski’s 2015 release, came in for review a while ago. Yet, instead of become the subject of a review, it became the musical guide for the opening scene of my new book, or at least for the atmosphere. While these six gloomy but beautiful ambient pieces floated through my speakers, my mind wondered off and inspiration came in huge numbers. So for that,  Paw Grabowski, thank you. Now, let’s go into the music itself, because that is what we’re here for, isn’t it?
Actually, this review could be very short. ‘The Forest Is Sleeping Within The Trees’ is a six track album, built around the piano and the pump organ. One of the keywords here is “minimalism” as the sounds of both instruments seem to dance with and around one another. Fans of artists like William Basinski , Tim Hecker or Stars Of The Lid will easily appreciate these six tunes. The whole thing is gloomy, driving on looping organs and quite often repetitive piano touches. The latter give the music a neat sense of pulsation.
It’s not easy to select a favorite track, perhaps it’s ‘Part 1’, a somewhat rhythmic and enticing piece of music. ‘Part 2’ is more experimental, a bit harsher. It still wanders through ambient landscapes, but feels rougher. ‘Part 3’ is dreamy and seductive while ‘Part 4’ drags the listening along dark drones and eerie soundscapes. The others are up to you to discover and I really recommend checking out this gem. Piano ambient doesn’t often come this narrative and immersive, I can tell you that!!!


øjeRum – The Forest is Sleeping Within the Trees / Hirotaka Shirotsubaki – Last Goodbye.

— Leggi su driftingalmostfalling.wordpress.com/2018/12/19/ojerum-the-forest-is-sleeping-within-the-trees-hirotaka-shirotsubaki-last-goodbye/

Première réalisation du duo formé par Masaya Hijikata (instrumentiste notamment pour Masayoshi Fujita, dont on reparlera plus haut dans ce bilan) et Andrea KochNight’s Highest Noon est l’un de ces ovnis qui ne rentrent dans aucune case. Ambient ? Musique tribale ? Improvisation libre ? Rituel ancestral ? Expérimentations à la Kid A  ? Il y a à coup sûr un peu de tout ça sur ce disque qui fait usage de percussions parfois proches du free jazz et de vocalises abstraites digitalement manipulées pour ensorceler l’auditeur et le 
plonger dans des ambiances plus ou moins désincarnées (le très abstrait et déconstruit Chauvet), chaotiques (Regina Coeli), méditatives (Delle Marianne, aux percus presque absentes) ou enfiévrées (Commuters), déjouant le minimalisme de ses éléments par une liberté d’exécution particulièrement stimulante. Un projet à suivre de près !




[krysalisound] Cullante e dolente procede il suono come quieto torrente, che lentamente scava un profondo solco incidendo un sospeso paesaggio emozionale. È ancora una volta Krysalisound ad accogliere una ripubblicazione rivista di uno dei tanti lavori di Paw Grabowski, prolifico autore danese che si cela sotto lo pseudonimo øjeRum. A finire nel catalogo della label […]

via øjeRum “the forest is sleeping within the trees” — SoWhat

Hirotaka Shirotsubaki “Last Goodbye” is now available in store in digital format and cd.


Listen and buy here

I’m pleased to close the year with an artist that I personally contacted for publishing with KrysaliSound after having listened to his album “Wet Petals” released by Naviar Records.
Hirotaka Shirotsubaki is a Kobe-based musician that uses sampled guitars to create dreamy landscapes and emotional textures moving the listener in a quiet and safe inner dwelling. I am proud to present his new album “Last Goodbye” available in KrysaliSound’s catalogue starting from December 9. About the album Hirotaka says:

“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.”  



Vom Abschied und Neuanfang.
Es gibt manchmal Dinge im Leben, die schleppen wir mit uns monatelang herum. DunkleSchatten in der Seele, die einem mit jedem Atemzug durchbohren. Wir halten daran fest, Hoffnungen, die doch verblassen eines Tages. Doch ein Schritt wäre auch loszulassen, alle Gedanken zu sammeln und diese ein letztes Mal zu verabschieden. „Last Goodbye“ vom japanischen Musiker Hirotaka Shirotsubaki ist so ein letzter Brief im akustischen Sinne, der es allerdings sehr schwer macht, loszulassen mit einer hoch-melancholischen Aura. Doch wo eine Tür sich schließt, öffnet sich meist eine Neue.

Der Komponist Hirotaka Shirotsubaki aus der kleinen Stadt Kobe in Japan mag zwar ein unbeschriebenes Blatt sein, zumindest auf unserem Kontinent. Er begann 2011 seine Karriere im musikalischen Bereich, inspiriert von der Natur und Geschichte seiner Umgebung. Seit dieser Zeit veröffentlichte der Japaner viele Musikstücke in regelmäßigen Abständen. Last Goodbye ist das neue Album, gewidmet auch einem Konzept:
In Japan endet die Ära “Heisei” in diesem Jahr. Eine Zeitspanne, die für Hirotaka Shirotsubaki bedeutsam war. Daher auch der finale Abschied mit all den positiven und negativen Aspekten und Zeit, eine neue Ära einzuläuten.

Gefühle von Sehnsucht, Verlorenheit und Empathie

​Last Goodbye ist ein Album geworden, welches einem sofort gefangen nimmt mit der ruhigen und fragilen Art. Texturierte und melodische Klanglandschaften, verträumt und romantisch in den Strukturen, wie ein leiser Wind, der einem sanft durch die Haare fährt. Hervorgerufen durch wirklich ätherische Gitarreneffekte und elektronischen Tagenden. Die Klang Kollagen bergen eine Essenz der reinen Melancholie, die dem Hörer sanft den Boden und den Füssen zieht, um in auf akustischer Wolken der Perfektion zu betten. Die vorherrschende emotionale Breite besteht aus Gefühlen von Sehnsucht, Verlorenheit und Empathie. Vertraute Klänge, die tief unter die Haut reichen.

Dem Album gelingt es auch perfekt, tief in die eigene Gefühlswelt einzugreifen und diese auf den Kopf zu stellen. Es kann durchaus tief greifende Gedanken vernebeln oder Dinge klarer sehen lassen. Der Hörer entscheidet selbst, wie er zu den Traum-verlorenen Klangdimensionen steht. Die Stücke auf dem Album haben die ideale Spiellänge von 6-8 Minuten, Zeit, um sich darin voll und ganz verlieren zu können. Alleine die romantische Klangästhetik von Songs wie „Rokko“ oder „December Snow“ sind Herausstellungsmerkmale für das Album und dem Musikbereich des Ambient.

Akustische Reise zwischen gedankenverlorenen Dimensionen

​Doch das Album hat noch mehr zu bieten: Wer bei den Songs „Sputnik“ und „Solitude“ nicht einen leisen Schrei seiner eigenen Seele vernimmt, besitzt wohl ein Herz aus Stein. Das Gefühl von Einsamkeit wurde hier besonders akustisch aufgearbeitet. Insgesamt finden 6 Stücke den Platz auf Last Goodbye, die Spiellänge ist mit 41 Minuten reichlich, um eine akustische Reise zwischen gedankenverlorenen Dimensionen anzutreten. Da es immer schwer ist, diese Gefühls-gesteuerte Musik in Worte zu fassen, ist ein Zitat von Nietzsche die perfekte Umrahmung von Last Goodbye: „Die größten Ereignisse — das sind nicht unsere lautesten, sondern unsere stillsten Stunden.“

Das Album „Last Goodbye“ reiht sich nahtlos ein für das Jahr 2018, wo es einige Hochkaräter im Genre des Ambient gab. Es blickt dem Hörer tief in das Herz, Zerstreuung, Frieden oder Isolation wird darin mit den Klanglandschaften manifestiert. Das ist auch immer die große Stärke von herausragenden Komponisten, Gefühle mit der Musik auf eine oberste Ebene zu verknüpfen, die einen lange im Ohr bleibt. Veröffentlicht wird Last Goodbye am 09. Dezember 2018 über Krysalisound, empfehlen können wir das Album allen Musikliebhabern, die zu Etwas oder Jemanden einen letzten Abschied gedenken.