Juta Takahashi "Angel" CD
"Angel" is a brand new sonic journey by Japanese ambient drifter Jutaro "Juta" Takahashi, released in July 2012 on his own Lunisolar Records as his 9th album. Between Juta's previous album "Silence" and the newest "Angel" passed about 19 months, but while living in Sendai, Miyagi prefecture, Juta had to experience during this period also a catastrophic earthquake with destructive tsunami at March 11th, 2011, which damaged coastal part of Sendai region. Fortunately, although suffering some material damages, by living in hilly part of Sendai, Juta and his family stayed relatively safe against the tsunami waves rushing into the coast. Now, we are happy to be able to explore the next chapter of his harmoniously tranquil atmospheres. But first, we are confronted with absolutely gorgeous front cover artwork by Russian artist Polina Yakovleva aka Smokepaint. Does this image indicate a more lighter or celestial feel of its musical content? "Bright Waters" strike immediately with purely gracious soundscape, where tranquilly drifting heavier drones are masterfully coupled here and there with fragile piano tunes. Progressing and cascading deep drones and piano parts are stunningly balanced and beautifully interacting. I won't hesitate to write this is the best piece Juta has ever composed. 17 minutes of deeply absorbing sonic sublimity!!! "Fairy's Blues", a 15 and half minutes long piece, is invaded by celestial washes, it glides and coils smoothly through dreamlike distant realms nicely enhanced by angelic voice-like sounds. The title composition "Angel" clocks over 16-minute mark and unveils with more active drones, ranging from rather denser to more discordant passages, but also from immensely drifting to angelic appearance. It's not easy to fully enjoy "Angel" at first listening, due to its more disturbing sound palette, but every repeated session will be more rewarding. 16-minute long "Fair Wind" is sculpted with expansive space washes, floating through gradually evolving stages and reaching more monumental and tense movements, occasionally lightened by delicate bell tinkles and precisely bridged with rather quieter, more mesmerizing blankets. These ever-changing high-pitched sonic panoramas provide a very nice conclusion of this album. "Angel" with its aural and emotional miracles paints wonderfully profound images, ready to transfer the listener to new magnificent spheres. Welcome back, Juta, and keep on drifting!!!
Richard Gürtler (Aug 18, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)