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 his work has always maintained a consistently high quality.
Hatakeyama originally began making music as part of various hardcore and metal bands, and his interests gradually drifted toward experimental rock and classical music. He formed a duo called Opitope in 2002 with Tomoyoshi Date. Kranky issued Hatakeyama's solo debut in 2006, and Opitope released their first full-length, Hau, on Spekk the following year. Hatakeyama's second solo album, Dedication, appeared on Magic Book Records in 2008. From 2009 on, his release schedule was relentless, with albums on Hibernate (The River), Room40 (Saunter, Mirror), Home Normal (A Long Journey), and numerous other ambient/experimental labels.
In 2010, he began releasing music digitally through his White Paddy Mountain label; gradually, the label began issuing CDs by other artists (such as Celer, Machinefabriek, and Aaron Martin), which were mixed and mastered by Hatakeyama himself. He continued to release albums on other labels, including Rural Colours, Small Fragments, and Airplane Label, in addition to collaborations with artists like Asuna, Hakobune, and Federico Durand. Hatakeyama released six albums in 2015 alone, including Frozen Silence (a collaboration with Sakana Hosomi), Mist, Five Dreams, and his third album for Lawrence English's Room40 label, Moon Light Reflecting Over Mountains. In 2017, he returned to Room40 with Mirage. Recorded over a five-year period, the album found Hatakeyama exploring the relationship between architecture and music. ~ Paul Simpson