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A Hundred Million Light Years

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Album Review

After the charm of Kaito's first disc won over the hearts of trance music naysayers and won favor with the hard-hearted ambient purists via the beatless version of the album, Kompakt began a mild onslaught of releases exploring the melodic, epic side of techno that bordered on progressive house/trance. Many of these records infused the spirit and romanticism of early Detroit releases with the dramatic arrangements of European electronic music from the early '90s. And while a few hit the mark dead on, there were others that never really captured the formula quite as well as Kaito. So with Hundred Million Light Years, Kaito retains that blueprint and expands further upon his musical vocabulary to keep things moving in a progressive direction (progressive in the evolutionary sense, not the stylistic). The album's opener "Color of Feels" and "Hundred Million Light Years" are reminiscent of Carl Craig's epic Landcruising record, as well as his "Dominas" remix of Maurizio, and is a wonderful reminder of Kaito's sense of arrangement and timing that made Special Life so addictive. The remainder of the album is equally as dramatic and engaging, and works well in a variety of settings. There's no sign of an ambient version of Hundred Million Light Years on the horizon, but it would definitely be a welcome exercise in listening to how truly a layered and detailed experience this album is.


Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Kaito is the most well-known alias of Berklee College of Music graduate Hiroshi Watanabe (aka King Street, Nite System, Oxygen Music Works, Quadra, Tread, 32 Project), a Japanese producer and DJ who spun at New York clubs Twilo and Tunnel & Speed, and held a residency at Save the Robots. As Kaito, Watanabe produced tracks that the brain trust at Cologne's Kompakt label dubbed nu-trance. Combining early-'90s trance elements with the sensibilities of a deep house producer, Watanabe issued a trio of...
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A Hundred Million Light Years, kaito
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