Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hakobune - Whispering in Their Presence (SUN013)

Here comes the sun.  Peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

This is a bittersweet review.  First the good news: this cassette by Hakobune has the potential to recalibrate your brainwaves through sonic awareness.  Unequivocally, Whispering in Their Presence is one of the nicest ambient tapes of the year.  This should sufficiently quench the thirst of those which seek warmth, contemplation, and depth in experimental sounds.

  The bad news is that Sunshine Ltd., a label of unparalleled beauty and the one which released Whispering in Their Presence, has recently announced that it will be on an indefinite hiatus.  If you are a reader of Zen Effects, Weed Temple or this blog, then you are likely aware of the effusive praise that regularly accompanies a Sunshine Ltd. release.  And if you are not willing to trust my account, then perhaps that of Matt Howe, proprietor of Discriminate Music, will suffice.  Matt referred to Sunshine Ltd. tapes as, "Some of the nicest, cleanest, and most well produced ambient tapes around."  From that statement, one may infer that these aural treasures represent an expression of sincerity.  For the past two years, Sunshine has released some of the finest ambient tapes including gems from David Andree, Smyth, Andy C. Jenkins, Phos Hilaron, Josh Mason.... you get the point.  Given that, allow this last ray of sunshine to nourish your soul.

Hakobune and Sunshine Ltd. are a match made in heaven, and this tape is the manifestation.  On this release, Hakobune uses guitars bathed in effects to create two long form pieces of music. The first track, 'Whispering in Their Presence', enchants the listener with glowing drones.  The music ascends to a great height, until it finds stasis, and then hovers gently.  This tape is made for headphones.  The music, intimate and enveloping, fills the head with enriching tones.  'Catenary' presents soft, elongated tones and hazy textures.  The undulations are pleasing to the soul - sounds ascend, come into focus, and move to the background, only to be reincarnated.  Being somewhat familiar with Hakobune, these tracks radiate beauty due to Takahiro's skill with the instrument and penchant for layering sounds.  No movement stays for too long.  Just when a sound reaches its zenith, other layers begin to produce aural depth. 

Music such as Whispering in Their Presence feels transcendental - it presents a profound listening experience through the emotional intensity of the soft, hazy sounds.  If you need some aural beauty, then invite Hakobune into your life.  Most people that enjoy this type of music will want to ride this wave to the horizon.  I remember the first time Sunshine Ltd. bathed my ears with its signature ambient warmth.  It was one of those ebullient experiences when you think, "I'm grateful to be able to span time with these people."  Buy this tape from Discriminate.

peace to you, friends :)