EX CONFUSION: Embrace (n5MD)


Posted on May 2nd 2012 01:21 am

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Ex Confusion: Embrace

n5MD 2012
10 Tracks. 45mins24secs

Amazon UK: CD | DLD US: CD | DLD iTunes: DLD

Ex Confusion is the solo endeavour of Japanese musician Atsuhito Omori. Following a debut album published on U-Cover two years ago and handful of EPs released through Heat Death, Somehow, Rural Colours and Twisted Tree Line since, and a spot on For Nihon, a compilation curated by Goldmund’s Keith Kenniff in support of the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund last year, Omori has landed a place on California’s premier electronic imprint n5MD. Deeply atmospheric, warm and textural, Omori’s music is built from heavily processed guitar or piano sequences, stretched and shaped into wonderfully gentle dreamy pieces, and drenched in long slow reverbs.

Like with previous recordings, Omori works from a somewhat restricted sound pool here; while his pieces are for the most part kept below the six minute mark, and are presented as standalone compositions with a definite start and end, the sonic uniformity resulting of his approach blurs their respective boundaries to give an overall impression of space and fluidity. The clearest shifts occur when Omori switches from guitar to piano, on If There Is Love and Sketches For The Truth, yet the treatment remains essentially the same (long reverbs, drowned out vapourous sounds), keeping the overall sound firmly into place.

There are rare moments where the sonic landscape suddenly opens up to reveal an entirely new layer, as is the case on the title piece, where Omori adds a recording of falling rain which, although partly buried under thick guitars coatings, adds a layer of texture. On Sketches For The Truth later on, the approach is different; if the first half of the piece relies on swelling piano phrases, reminiscent in parts of the work of Harold Budd, its second half is brought to life through a series of rich, almost orchestral, synths washes, making it perhaps the most ambitious moment of this entire record.

Through its whole course, Embrace linger from one shaded moment to another, its dense hazy nature keeping any hint of defined sound structure or melody firmly under wrap, only revealing vague contours or texture. Remains the warm, vibrant tones of Omori’s sound sources, which he seems to purposely intensify, as to compensate for the lack of concrete shapes. Embrace is undeniably a mysterious record, which never reveals much of its inner core, but Omori’s consistent approach makes it quite a captivating offering.


Ex Confusion | n5MD
Amazon UK: CD | DLD US: CD | DLD iTunes: DLD

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