Takecha - Deep Soundscapes
Takecha may not be a name you know but He has been producing House music in Japan since the early nineties. He works in a factory by day, but then slips away to his studio on weekends to produce House and minimal techo a la Kraftwerk. This album however follows a different path with brighter almost electropop sounds and deep groove. The minimal and precise nature of his music is still there, but things shift more quickly here allowing the songs to get to the break rather than meandering for awhile to get there. His approach is more nuanced here, never over powering you with sound. He allows this album to unfold in front of you and it feels delicate and small. This isn't music to blast at a party and get everyone moving, but it is complex and delightful in it's own way. The album isn't particularly upbeat, but it isn't deep dark electronic either. It sits in this really pleasant space even when the tracks get a little darker. "Factory 141" is the first time we get a sense of heavy machinery on the record with this pounding sound driving the bass line. There is an overarching theme of technology here but it is more in how it relates to the people around it. Music without lyrics makes it easy to postulate about this kind of high minded ideas, because despite what it sounds like you are always bringing your own sense of self to it, your own personal beliefs. Each melody then has it's own story and each slight change becomes more significant. What is really nice about this record is it makes not attempt to sound natural, everything is fully entrenched in techno sounds but the melodies flow so nice you almost begin to forget that this is super techno heavy stuff.
The record doesn't really flow together but the gentle movements of the tracks makes them feel like they are in the same vein. Every note feels really cared for and gently placed. The layers of music just sort of fall softly on to each other creating this really airy warm blanket to wrap yourself up in. The glitchier tracks like "Hold Me Tender" get right on the verge of becoming a dance track but throughout the entire album Takecha never let's it go all the way there. The restraint is one of the most endearing things about this record, He could go bigger, House-ier or Danceyer but He doesn't and the record is better for it. I have said this before about a few albums but this is the kind of music you put in the background and even though it slips away someone is going to notice it and like what they hear. It's the best music for a restaurant you've ever heard. That might not sound like all that high of praise, but so much ambient music can be off putting or places on put on top 40 with hopes of mass appeal. An album that is this slick and this refined gives the vibe such a wider more expansive feel while still not overpowering people's conversations. Deep Soundscapes is a splendid album and one that is so wonderfully different from anything else you are hearing right now. Sit back and let the gentle sway just let you melt away.
7.9 out of 10