Album of the Week - Chihei Hatakeyama - Void XX
Chihei Hatakeyama makes music to melt to. His meditative new age pieces are composed of heavily-processed instrumentation, recorded and then layered atop one another to create soundscapes which move at a glacial pace. And while a descriptor like "glacial" or the album title "Void" do not necessarily conjure feelings of warmth, listening to this recent installment in an ongoing conceptual series of ambient releases feels like curling up in a thick blanket and sinking into a soft mattress. Song titles on Void XX allude to the natural, perhaps due to Hatakeyama's upbringing by the sea, or the inspiration he finds when in specific locations, as his albums often act as travelogues documenting place. For those curious about Hatakeyama's process, watch this short documentary which details his trip back to the Kamakura and Enoshima regions of Japan, where he grew up. Maybe after watching it, and trying out Void XX, you will be inspired to dive into his discography - a very worthwhile endeavor.