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Album Review

Saunter is one of the most accessible releases in the catalog of Australian experimental ambient label Room40. It consists of delicate guitar and computer drones plus occasional field recordings arranged to form peaceful aural landscapes that verge on new age music. The pieces are monochromatic, floating like fog instead of developing or moving, inhabiting the listening space with their shimmering tones. It could sound almost too easy if it weren't for the obvious care with which these tracks have been composed: the understated gorgeousness of "The Room in Past"; the spatialization and play between brief sounds (backward guitar) and long synth washes of "Landscape on a Hill." The music here has strong affinities with that of Lawrence English, especially his season-related releases (For Varying Degrees of Winter, A Colour for Autumn). It's not music that will move you, but it radiates quiet (and slightly cold) beauty. ~ François Couture, Rovi

Biography

Born: 1978 in Tokyo, Japan

Genre: New Age

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Chihei Hatakeyama is a Tokyo-based ambient musician and mastering engineer who creates chiming, shimmering soundscapes with acoustic instruments (including guitar, vibraphone, and piano) and laptop processing. His works often evoke scenes from nature, and appropriately include an abundant amount of field recordings and other organic sounds. Since the release of his well-received debut album Minima Moralia (Kranky) in 2006, he has been remarkably prolific as both a solo artist and collaborator, and...
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Saunter, Chihei Hatakeyama
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