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Album Review

Straddling the line between pretty acoustic chamber jazz sounds, Brazilian tinged music, smart and sleek electronica, and multi-layered colorations beyond category, Japanese national Takagi Masakatsu weaves these styles tastefully through this program. It thoroughly holds your attention with its depth, attention to detail, and wondrous mix of natural, spiritual, and futuristic concepts. But for a few exceptions, Masakatsu plays all of the instruments overdubbed, including electric and acoustic pianos (the latter in-concert,) percussion, acoustic guitar, and vibraphone. Vocals by special guests David Sylvian or Toma Itoko, and a field recording in Titowan, Nepal are included, as well as eight visual art DVD tracks on a separate disc. The three live solo piano performance pieces are stunningly beautiful, especially "Girls," heard frequently on a Sharp Aquos television commercial. Masakatsu's rich, cascading waltz piano, replete with Steve Reich-style minimalism, is a true organ of splendor, magnificent in its construct, and evolved far beyond the 30-second TV snippet. Of the Latin pieces, "Cruz" is light fare with acoustic guitar, "Cuba" more percussive, and "Change of Seasons" a lovely implied samba. The electronic tracks feature backward loops and Fender Rhodes piano as on the kinetic and layered "O.P.R." with Itoko, the happy, woodsy feel of "Private Drawing," and the child's song "New Flat" with toy piano, soaring violin, and the sounds of Titowan. The more beat oriented selections are "Pia Flies" with its funky urban sensibility, and "Opfern," sporting a clattery percussion underpinning. The vibraphone sounds Masakatsu adds on many of these selections often trump the keyboards, making you want to hear him play on a CD with that instrument exclusively. The lonesome pop song of departure "Exit/Delete" is where Sylvian's introspective lyrics and Masakatsu's sad guitar convene. The title track is possibly the most playful composition, a 6/8 melting of piano, backward loops, and electronics that define where this music's core lies. The seven DVD clips feature a black-and-white Escher-like video opposite the delicate, classical style solo piano piece "Birdland #3," the liquid and stellar color washes behind "Girls," animated figurines during "Private Drawing," the innocent scenery of Titowan tacked onto "New Flat," an extended "Exit/Delete" with "First_Sight," as well as the black-and-white "Maggie's Trip" and colorized "Aura" not included on the audio CD. A pricey and expensive item, it is also worth the large coin to fully discover a different and expansive world view, as well as the active and curious mind of Masakatsu. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

COIEDA, Masakatsu Takagi
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  • £7.99
  • Genres: Electronic, Music
  • Released: 08 September 2004

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