Takuma Itoi - Quietude
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Takuma Itoi

Takuma Itoi was trained in classical piano for nearly twelve years, and while one isn't able to discern any real ivory tones from his debut CD Quietude his glitchy ambient music seems to move with a bit more of an organic feel than some of his peers. Although his compositions flirt with dissonance at times, they always pull back from the edge and and prefer to flutter along with subtle shifting patterns and soft pulses of sound.

The aptly titled "Intro" opens up the CD and it's just over one minute of sparse filtered tones that breathe softly before the album starts in earnest with "Trans-," another track blending a soft pitter-patter rhythm with pushed textures and other sparse bleep and bloops. One could use such adjectives to describe a large part of the album, as it inhabits the same sort of digital realms as artists like Nobukazu Takemura in places, where alien electronic tones glint with warmth and swarm around one another in patterns that remind one of clouds of insects in the summer or the tiny building-blocks of plant life (or maybe I'm just being subconsciously influenced by song titles like "Microbe").

Just when you think the album is going to be all micro-glints of sound, Itoi manages to throw in a few small wrinkles of sound. "Go On" is one of the standouts on the entire album, a five and a half minute wash of sound that sounds like Fennesz mingling with the soft sounds of Mileece. Even though the album is only eight tracks and just over forty minutes in total length, it could probably use a smidge more variety to keep things interesting. Many of the songs on the release progress in similar ways, and while Itoi definitely has a good ear for things, I almost wish he would have let some of his organic side shine through. If you're looking for a nice little uniform album of pretty electronic flutters, though, this one might just be a perfect soundtrack to a quiet morning.

rating: 610
Aaron Coleman 2006-01-19 17:52:24