TATSURO KOJIMA: 16g (Audiobulb Records)


Posted on Jan 27th 2012 01:21 am

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Tatsuro Kojima: 16g

Audiobulb Records 2012
11 Tracks. 60mins45secs

Boomkat: DLD

As digital music is steadily gaining ground, CD sales have been increasingly declining in the past few years in the same way as sales of vinyls and cassettes slumped when CDs were first introduced, but some record labels are still willing to commit to the format and dare investing into special projects. One such project is the new album from Japanese sound artist, graphic and web designer and mobile app developer Tatsuro Kojima, whose album 16g is being released by the excellent Audiobulb in an extremely limited run (50 copies), each CD housed in a unique, hand-made packaging, which counts an individual cover photo, a duplicate of which can be found inside, with at its back, a personal handwritten message, in Japanese, from Kojima. The picture is also numbered and signed.

The music is equally as delicate and artisanal. Kojima works from field recordings, primarily recordings of footsteps in the snow or on ice, upon which he layers gossamer themes, fragile sonic structures built from a pool of rich acoustic sounds and chimes, and tainted with subtle and elegant electronics. There are no set forms or patterns here, instead Kojima makes use of his vast palette with extreme care, at times favouring light shimmering formations (16g, 0818, Inside And Outside), at others opting for earthier tones (Hidden, Out Noise, 0504, Room) or textured drones (0002, Composition6).

Kojima often blurs the boundaries between acoustic sounds, electronics and field recordings to creates his soundscapes, but, either in their raw natural or processed state, it is their inherent refined aspect that he seeks here. Whether he sets up to develop a defined melodic line and give a piece a clear path or settles for much more fluid and ephemeral constructions, Kojima’s sonic miniatures are intricately woven self-contained pieces which, like the packaging, never seem to sound exactly the same twice. Despite their relative diversity in terms of style and approach, there is an impression of unity which runs through the whole record. It is at times as if Kojima was aiming to create a set of similar ideas using very different components and processes. Whilst this certainly keeps the mind alert, it also creates a false impression of continuity which, ultimately, results in 16g feeling extremely fleeting and dreamy all the way through.

With this album, Tatsuro Kojima has created a rather wonderfully evocative piece which, while making very good use of field recordings, relies on the very nature of the music and on the soundscapes used to achieve this. Its extreme fragility is perhaps made even more potent by the rarity of its physical presence, and by the uniqueness of each of the CD produced.


Tatsuro Kojima | 16g on Audiobulb | Audiobulb Records
Boomkat: DLD

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