TAKUMA ITOI - Quietude

Takuma Itoi - Quietude

8 songs
40:43 minutes
***** **
Karate Joe

It is not easy to enter their sonic world of Takuma Itoi. His electronic music cannot be dismissed as ambient, because it is anything but relaxing. Although there are elements of glitch aesthetics, the album lacks the breakbeat patterns that such artists commonly use. Takuma Itoi is originally a classically trained pianist who started at the beginning of the new millennium to get into electronic sounds, and therefore should be considered (probably) a contemporary composer.

Quietude, the title of the album, makes sense. Itoi stays on the quiet side of the aural spectrum, but instead of creating minimalist soundscapes, he is programming his laptop with a myriad of details that asks a lot of attention from the audience. Try and read a book while listening to the album, and you will understand neither the music nor the book. That's what sets Itoi apart from many of his analogues.

He uses repetitive patterns, loops, percussive elements, and weaves everything into a complex tapestry that is in some ways beguiling, but also too demanding to be used as a form of entertainment.

A short Intro segues into the cubist Trans-, working as a kind of shock treatment for all those who expected some kind of dream sequence. Travelator comes with something similar to pop appeal, and is therefore my personal favourite on the album. On The Wind is a longer track that combines beauty with jarring noise. The Third Person and Microbe are two more playful tracks that use more percussive sounding patterns. Go On is a floating noise carpet, as if My Bloody Valentine had thrown away guitars and drums and appropriated laptops. The glitchy Waltz ends a rather short album that develops its own kind of experimental beauty if you have the stamina to listen to it.

Quietude is neither a pop nor an ambient album, but an intelligent essay on modern electronic composition. It works best when you listen exclusive to it without doing anything else. I know most of us don't have the time or the will do delve so deeply into music, but if you are among the rare species who still relish to listen to music alone, then you might discover the subtle beauty of Takuma Itoi's music.

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