“Part of the charm of “Piano Textures 4” is its intimacy and I feel like I am inside the piano at times. It feels like the whole album purposely holds back from going for a full melodic approach though and so some people who are less likely to get lost in mood pieces, may not find what they’re looking for here. Sanfilippo though has created an excellent mood piece for those who do want to get lost in an audio mystery as new layers of piano are unveiled – and if you have your imagination with you – you can wander off anywhere”
I first came across Marihiko Hara’s work in 2007, with his ‘Cesura’ release on the excellent Italian net-label – Zymogen. It really drew me in more than most other work that was doing the rounds at the same time. It had the sort of organic details and attention to beautiful subtle developments that I had only really heard in offthesky and Nicolas Bernier before (both label mates on Zymogen I should add). It became my soundtrack to that year and an album I returned to almost daily during the winter months. After this I followed Marihiko’s work carefully, from his rather fantastic 2009 ‘Icon’ release on Cotton Goods to his recent ‘Prosa’ collaboration with Tomas Phillips on Tench Records.
This 44 minute piece may structurally resemble a classical composition – divided as it is into several interlocking stanzas – but it’s difficult to place it comfortably within the realm of modern music. If anything, ‘The Rest….’ evokes the otherwordly, fantastical obsessions of the Victorians (Conan Doyle, Lear, Grandville, Wellcome, etc) through means of meticulously manipulated instrumentation, samples and voice.Plinth, of course, is no stranger to Victoriana.
The compilation features 12 tracks from some of the globe’s most talented sound-designers. It is a subtly rewarding headphone listen from start to finish; curated and ordered to purposefully induce a state of sleep. Starting off minimally, gradually gathering tone and atmosphere, the experience goes on without ever boiling over or reaching a crescendo. Parts of the album are light and restful whereas traces of it tread darker territory. All in all, the imagery that the album conjurs sits perfectly as a soundtrack to the dreams one experiences during a nights sleep.
Jonathan Canupp is a name you should know but probably don’t, but then again might. He records under Ten and Tracer and I’ve been into his records for ages and ages now. Back when I was checking out early net label releases, Jonathan came up as one of two people whose work in their entirety I just fell in love with. And funny how he actually works with the other artist now and lives in the same damn city – the person being a certain Jason Corder (offthesky, Juxta Phona) no less. He makes wonderful IDM music and in fact I may have asked him years ago now to make us a ‘meaty beaty’ record. And along he comes with the very cheek of making some sublimely evolved, subtly woven record using violin, tape machines, guitars, maybe some keyboards and other stuff too. Friendless Now is a beautifully realised work, and one of my favourite Ten and Tracer releases to date.