KOJI ASANO – Solstice Eclipse

Solstice

If there is an adjective that cannot be associated with Koji Asano’s music, that must be “predictable”. Since his first albums halfway through the 90s to last year’s insect-based Galaxies, the Japanese composer has been surprising audiences with abrupt turnarounds in every release. Solstice Eclipse is, in a way, a look back at the “harmonically noisier” features of Asano’s work. We’re not told what was used in the recording, but the general appearance is one of minimalism veiled by a blur of distortion and electric rust, the intensity varying according to the moment. At times this sounds like a gathering of huge slabs of overdriven guitars; elsewhere there’s the illusion – or is it a disguised truth? – of peaceful counterpoints and even some vocal lines underlying the thick electroacoustic roar. As soon as the record starts, finding a comfortable position against an apparently overwhelming force appears as a priority; after mere minutes you’re alone and blissful, completely part of the process, physically and spiritually merged with this massive flux of indetermination. Once again, the musician’s reticence runs parallel to the importance of the final outcome; no better auricular decontamination exists than enjoying the useful effects of a misleading discordance. The man is not looking for easy praise, preferring to focus on the most significant aspects of resonance – harsh or less. In that sense, this CD is yet another achievement.

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