Guest Astro Cortex Posted March 29, 2006 Share Posted March 29, 2006 Ambiant Otaku (1994 Fax) 1. 17:03 Karmic Light 2. 11:11 Low of Vibration 3. 10:49 Ambiant Otaku 4. 15:35 Holy Dance 5. 17:47 Magnetic Field All tracks written by Tetsu Inoue Otaku means „geek“ or „fanatic“, it’s the kind of person who is obsessed with one particular topic or hobby, and spends close to every second of his lifetime for just that, being isolated from social life. And listening to this superb ambient album, it’s not hard to imagine that Tetsu Inoue indeed did a lot of concentrated work to create it, possibly putting himself into an ‘otaku’ state for some time. Being a well-established artist already through his collaborations with Pete Namlook, Atom Heart and others, Tetsu composed his first solo album Ambiant Otaku, released on the Fax sublabel. As the front cover of the disc may suggest, this album is all about deep meditation, and it’s a splendid example of how to create a rich and organic impression through purely synthetic soundscapes. Also, the whole thing somehow sounds very Japanese to me, but in a non-stereotypical way. Karmic Light provides quite an energetic start to an otherwise calm and slow-paced album, with an immediate soaring just above the clouds, during sunrise. The first part of the track is radiant with positive, bright sounds and lively melodies, which eventually get accompanied by a tasty and dynamic hi-hat pattern. It all feels like a warm breeze of air, which is developing a medium wind force, as you’re travelling quite fast, even without beats. After 7-8 minutes the rhythm disperses, and the track morphs into a free-floating piece that calms down as it progresses, gently spiralling towards the ground. Actually, this track sounds to me like the perfect musical illustration of the “land of the rising sun”. Marvellous! The following track starts with sparkling high-pitched notes that make up a calm and meditative ambience. At the beginning one might wonder why such a twinkling piece of music is called Low of Vibration, but soon a deep rumbling bass appearing underneath provides the answer. Halfway through, the track starts to unfold its full glory, with some smoothly and slowly illuminating melody fragments that make you feel infinite depths of acoustic space (omg ), it’s that kind of sound I so adore the Fax label for. The whole piece feels like meditating in a sacred space, surrounded by beautiful and abstract mandalas, like the one on the cover. Top class goosebump material! On Ambiant Otaku we’re entering a more dark and spooky environment. It took me a while to appreciate the title track, as it appears quite monotonous due to its ever-repeating sinister melody. The track tends to sound a little bit out of place on the album, but it’s gradually starting to make sense to me. Maybe Tetsu’s idea was to illustrate the Otaku phenomenon and its sometimes torturing eeriness of isolation. To me however, this track evokes the image of a haunted toy factory, with evil grinning jack-in-the-box figures and stuff. Holy Dance puts your mind into mellow and dreamy state right from the first second, beginning with a muffled choir that sounds very eastern in some way. In spite of its title, it is still very slow-burning ambient, though it's maybe the most rhythmic track on the whole CD, leisurely cycling forward with some light hi-hats, a soft bass pulse, and some sort of squelchy percussive sounds. While we were merely staring at the mandalas before, we’re now diving into them, warping their abstract patterns and interspersing the liquid colours. This is a crystalline piece of deep chill music, with lovely attention to details. Best track on the album. My only complaint is that the 15 ½ minutes seem to pass by too quickly . Magnetic Field is just light and peaceful. It’s a great track to fall asleep to, lulled by the buzzing and blurring layers of ambience. Perhaps not as phenomenal as some other moments of the disk, but still a beautiful finale. Ambiant Otaku is considered a milestone in beautiful electronica, not only by ambient enthusiasts, like I am. It’s a true classic. This is one of the few Fax sublabel releases that were reissued on Ambient World. But I’m sorry to say that even the reissue may be hard to find nowadays. So if you stumble upon the reissue, don’t overlook it and don’t hesitate to grab it. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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