Shuta Hiraki – Not Here, But There.

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The latest release on the Spanish based Rottenman Editions imprint comes from Japanese musician Shuta Hiraki whose release “Not Here, But There” is a two-track release of Monolithic proportions.

“Shuta Hiraki, a Japanese electronic musician who was born in 1990 and lives in Nagasaki, Japan, has published his own works under the pseudonym obalto since 2014.
Influenced by the trend toward more “drone-based” ambient music in the latter half of 00’s, he started to create ambient/drone music himself centering on various field recordings and its sounds processed by DAW around 2013.”

While some labels have a busy release schedule, Rottenman have a laid back approach which gives the feeling of a nicely curated discography and also slowed down approach to putting out music. Coupled with their handmade aesthetic makes the releases intriguing and interesting.

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Split into two halves, the album contains two pieces that are quite different beasts that share a similar pace. It would be easy to raise the influence, whether intended or not of William Basinski, Thomas Koner or The Caretaker for “Not Here” as it has the style developed by these two Ambient heavyweights of drones  flowing and rolling over each other, some times in small snatches of sound and in loop form. The tones have a bit of a distant almost foundry industrial sound with a washed out feel to them. The thing that keeps them interesting is that they don’t remain the same. They slowly evolve over time moving from side to side as you listen with headphones. Much like a rolling stone they start picking up extra sonic elements as the piece moves throughout its eighteen minutes. The track becomes somewhat more distant and a bit of a shadow of its former self, while noisier sounds are subtly woven into the piece that are noted, but not overpowering.

“But There” is a trip into minimalism. Similar in style to “Not Here” because of its vague loop construction, this track reverts deeper into the background more the most part of the track before mutating into a noisier more cacophonic piece towards the end. The tones that start the piece have a shimmering almost flickering quality. As the piece evolves so does the sounds as they become noticeably fractured around the two and a half-minute mark as sub bass sounds vibrate and scatter around. By the mid way mark of the track, it’s these sub bass sounds and a collection of percussive sounds which become the dominant focus as they lead the tones through darker, detritus ridden landscapes. Cymbal and Gong like swirls create a moody environment paired with the tones which changes the complection of the tones and the environment of the piece to one that is desolate in nature.

I find that the pace of both of these tracks suits me . Music that is in no rush to move through the changes, colors or textures appeals to me. Hiraki lets the pieces evolve naturally without forcing any changes or making it obvious when the pieces veer ever so slightly from where they began. A note on the bandcamp page says “Music for falling asleep. Lower the volume a little & lie down.” and I couldn’t agree more.

“Not Here, But There” is available on limited edition cd-r and Digital.

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