CHIHEI HATAKEYAMA – Requiem For Black Night And Earth Spiders

White Paddy Mountain

I’ll admit it; stars are not looking that bright for the middle-aged writer.

Bad news keep coming in on a daily basis, the latest being a nearby forest fire which left me deeply saddened. Physical conditions are not brilliant in spite of a steady training schedule; the mind is following accordingly. Basically, it’s just another utterly boring summer in an existence that is unfolding without even thinking of suggesting a way out from a pre-designed (and culpably accepted, long ago) future of provincial bleakness.

Heavy doses of forcibly swallowed uselessness day in, day out hit the resistance like a series of hooks to the liver. It’s worse when you know that not much can be done to change the situation. Same empty words from individuals in dire need of affirming their right to be recognized when, in reality, the stronger specimens do not care a iota about what they say or do. Same sense of “I-should-be-elsewhere” asphyxia every fucking morning.

Five gears are useless if the average is three. The engine overheats. Things get dangerous, then.

In this type of scenario, this record from 2016 came handy. The extended tracks of Requiem For Black Night And Earth Spiders do not ask for anything more than be present in the room, and exploit their resonating space. Chihei Hatakeyama keeps it simple: starting from uncomplicated figurations played on regular instruments, he subtracts most everything resembling a high frequency from a heavily equalized massive patina of reverb. The outcome is a humming fog of muddled pitches that lulls the remnants of your will to sleep. It starts and ends like that.

Someone wishes to call it “ambient”. Whatever. Hatakeyama is not an innovator – so many people apply equivalent techniques to the art of filling vacuums – but he didn’t ask to be one. This music works as expected. An abundant hour passes with the brain completely switched off; at the end, you’re still as weak as before, and still conscious of the errors of youth. So we wouldn’t declare that Requiem is a therapeutic listen; rather, a momentary tranquilizer.

Sometimes life forgives, offering other chances; sometimes, it is better to let go and accept the fact that there was a need to be smarter to begin with. Hopefully one learns, sooner or later.

Maybe never.

The rest? They’re trusting the invisible man. Until they’ll finally grow up.

Maybe never.

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