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by Takao

Stealth 02:28
Water Music 03:23
Boat 04:26
Matsura 01:17
Ama Nita 02:31
Trode 01:53
Ce La 02:36
Secret Town 02:28
Song of Time 01:47
Sweet Dreams 04:11



濱瀬元彦、武満徹、新津章夫、ヤン富田、Sean McCann等々に影響を受けたと率直に語るタカオだが、これら先達に新旧有名無名の区別はなく、ただアクセスした特定の作品が作家の創作意欲を突き動かしたのみで、そこから得たインスピレーションを衒いなく定着させたのがこの『Stealth』だ。ゆえに『ステルス』は作曲の楽しさと想像性に溢れ、心地よい美しさと、聴き込めば現れる意想外の深さが同居している点で近年まれに見る(感じる)存在感をもつ。1年半かけて仕上げたという『Stealth』は13曲で33分(!)この流儀の作風にしては異端的な短さで、なおかつひとつとして同じ体裁の曲がないにもかかわらず、シームレスな環境音楽的体験ができる。それは装丁にあるような晴れた日の海の表情を映し出しているかのようだ(※写真はTakao自身が湘南で撮影したもの)。控えめだがこだわり抜いたタカオの音感覚にも注目。この末恐ろしい才能には今後も目が離せない。

All tracks composed and produced by Takao
Mastered by Takuto Kuratani (Ruv Bytes)
Cover art by Ginji Kimura
Special thanks: Cristel Bereder, Shuta Hasunuma, Kazumichi Komatsu, Keisuke Koyano, Nico Niquo, Nobuyuki Sakuma (CVN/AVYSS)
(c)&(p) 2018 EM Records


released October 26, 2018

“Stealth” is the aptly-titled debut album from Tokyo-based composer/producer Takao. Gliding in under the radar with thirteen slyly sweet and subtle miniatures, these pieces are refreshing light-explosions of gentle harmony and modestly grand melodies. Fans of New Age and tonal minimalism will enjoy this music, but its brevity reveals a pop-influenced aesthetic as well, and the level of care and detail in the arrangements and recording evinces a nuanced, surprisingly mature sensibility. There’s a blossoming brightness and elegant simplicity that even calls to mind gentle ghosts of Satie and Debussy. Available as digital download, CD and vinyl LP.


“Stealth” is certainly an apt title for this disarming collection of crypto-New Age. From its opening, one might be forgiven for assuming that what follows is a tableau of digital disruption, and noise in one of its less offensive iterations.
However, Takao instead presents a rich and detailed tapestry of compositions that take New Age affectations, fashioning them into something far grander. There’s a penchant for the naïve, the more garish of digital instruments in the vein of James Ferraro – but importantly, Takao steers away from submitting to gestures themselves naïve or garish, opting instead to focus attention to a more nuanced, delicate style.
Indeed, a more intrinsic tradition to posit “Stealth” as an inheritor of would be the Impressionism of Debussy, or even Satie, with Takao’s approach drawing light and composure from his instruments at their most bare and unadorned. Ever so pleasing and atmospheric, “Stealth” is remarkably affecting in its subtlety. (Nico Niquo)


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