domingo, 23 de novembro de 2008

Rudi Arapahoe - Echoes From One To Another (2008)

This summer sees a new release on a fresh acquaintance of ours, the Japanese label Symbolic Interaction and the artist with the mystery-shrouded name Rudi Arapahoe. The label, run by Kentaro Togawa and recording under his own-released moniker, The Retail Sectors, has already found time to raise a few eyebrows and become a favourite with many people.

Given the latest offering from English artist Rudi Arapahoe – few should find anything to change their positive thoughts about Symbolic Interacton. This is certainly one mellow and tranquil sounding album, a mixture of subtle electronics melded with lofty instrumental pieces based around piano, harp and guitar sounds and the recurring feature of a pair of prominent, female vocals. A general impression is that of lovely strummed chords, whether harp or guitar, that build up Helios-reminiscent melodies, some songs featuring arias of the female vocals and on one particular occasion where the harp chimes in, the result gives off such a strong association to some Orbital songs.

Leaving references aside, this is over-all a delicate album that flows nicely and has both aided me in falling asleep (a positive thing!) and lulling me into a very comfortable and relaxed mood, sat back in my lounge. This is ideal for home listening. At certain times, it does become slightly too new agey or somewhat spiritual for me, particularly some unsettling, spoken word sequences and some of the very fluid sequences with hollow flutes and strummed harps, possibly even a touch of medieval theme with folk melodies and beaten (Irish?) drums. But this is not prevailing and does not become my main impression of the album, rather it is the quiet melodies centered around a solitary piano or guitar theme with only some droning, deep sounds in the background that really grip me, like a welcome return to the year of piano sounds back in 2006. For the fans of references, these stripped down, fine compositions bring names like Sakamoto & Alva Noto, Goldmund, Takeshi Nishimoto to mind, maybe even the downbeat music of chill out masters Blu Mar Ten. The theme in the music fits perfectly with the mysterious album and track titles and the noir-esque artwork, casting off a holistic and aesthetically pleasing feeling for a similarly lovely musical journey of an album.

We look forward to seeing Rudi Arapahoe’s upcoming work as well as seeing the future directions of Symbolic Interaction. Stay tuned for a review of label headman Togawa’s new album for 2008.

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