Kashiwa Daisuke
88


4.0
excellent

Review

by Eli EMERITUS
August 3rd, 2011 | 75 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Stripping away everything that has made him who he is today, Kashiwa Daisuke creates one of his most charming, beautiful, and ultimately wonderful releases to date.

I really make no secret about it"Kashiwa Daisuke’s 2007 masterpiece, Program Music I is one of, if not my favorite album of all time. Truly, I could write pages upon pages why the album means so much to me, how its endless complexities and extravagant melodies still appeal to me in the same way they did those years ago. I can even recount my very first experience with the album. Rarely does an album come along that convinces me that music can transcend an artistic medium, and become something greater, something effectual and tangible. Program Music I, in its short life span, has had this effect on more persons than just I. In fact, people all over sing Daisuke’s praises, despite some of his more questionable moves.

For people who’ve loved Daisuke, his newest release, 88, is for you. For those who’ve not seen what others have, this album may still be for you. The record derives its name from the number of keys on the piano. The piano of course being the sole instrument used on 88. It’s an immensely stripped down affair, consisting of only piano melodies. A bold move considering his 2009 release, Dec. 5 was anything but “stripped down.” It was an album of uncompromising madness, so much that even World’s End Girlfriend’s Katsuhiko Maeda would scratch his head. In said album, Daisuke took his electronic sensibilities to new heights, creating a frenetic, chaotic record that was both disjointed and disappointingly jarring considering its predecessor’s pedigree. 88 counters this sublimely, a sentiment that may come as a relief to longtime fans, but may be disappointing to those fans who are newer.

Despite being more of a “return to form,” 88 is unlike anything Daisuke has ever done before. As stated previously, that album consists of one instrument: the piano. This creates a much, much more intimate atmosphere, as the listener feels much more connected to Daisuke the artist. While he may not be a Franz Liszt, Daisuke is fairly fluent in piano and its composition. The songs are not the most complex pieces out there, nor are they the most technically demanding. However, what they have in spades is “soul.” Many of the tracks are tender, thoughtful compositions that cover a myriad of emotions, all through the simple yet beautiful sounds of the piano. Whether it be the eerie, melancholy of “Scorpion of Red Eyes,” or the sweet, dulcet tones of “Good-bye,” 88 touches upon many feelings, making it a varied album with excellent songwriting to back it up.

Consisting of eleven tracks, with run-times ranging from a minute to over ten, 88 is a rather lengthy album. And although most of the album is shear gold, it dips not only in quality, but in consistency as well. Although each track is fresh in its own way, some are less so than others, namely “My Favorite Things.” Yes that’s actually a cover from The Sound of Music. it quite honestly doesn’t fit well, especially when taking into consideration that it is simply a poor rendition of the song, completely destroying the jovial mood and flow. “Scorpion of Red Eyes,” on the other hand, isn’t a cover; so much as it is a re-imagining of the first few minutes of “Stella,” his most critically acclaimed work. Lacking the more complex moods found in the original, it comes off a light and forgettable. Despite these few missteps, 88 is filled with stellar tracks. The longer songs, such as “In the Lake” and “Swan Song,” are some of Daisuke’s best ever. They move with passion and intensity, and never once falter under the weight of their ambition. Truly standouts in an album full of worthy pieces.

88 is the album fans have been waiting for since Program Music I. Although it is vastly different from said album, it shows Daisuke’s commitment to once again composing complex and beautiful music, rather than cater to some maddening musical concept. Sure, at times the album feels almost too stripped down for its own good, but it’s grounded, confident, and ultimately incredibly consistent. Whether you listen intently, or in short bursts, 88’s lovely melodies will appeal to you, comfort you, and convince you that even the most simple form of music can create vast, complex soundscapes. Welcome back Daisuke, we’ve missed you.



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user ratings (127)
Chart.
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excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Xenophanes
Emeritus
August 3rd 2011


10594 Comments


Originally posted here: http://www.muzikdizcovery.com/2011/08/album-review-kashiwa-daisuke-88.html



Yeah this was my most anticipated release of the year. Bar none.

Digging: Grouper - Ruins

FromDaHood
Contributing Reviewer
August 3rd 2011


9034 Comments


You're not a contributor?

Rev
August 3rd 2011


9423 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You're not a contributor? [2]


Great review as always man. Glad to see this is split up more than just 2 hefty tracks

psykonaut
August 3rd 2011


3913 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

pos'd. still lookin for this album, with limited success

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
August 3rd 2011


23828 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm still digesting Program Music I but I will probably check this out soon

Xeno for staff

Rev
August 3rd 2011


9423 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Xeno for staff [2]

North0House2
August 3rd 2011


5857 Comments


A new Daisuke? Yes! I didn't know of this, this makes me happy.

Digging: Zelienople - The World Is A House On Fire

North0House2
August 3rd 2011


5857 Comments


Great review, by the way.

Have yourself a pos.

crazyblinddude
August 3rd 2011


3389 Comments


Oh cool. I was wondering when he was gonna release some new stuff. Nice review man. Keep it up! (since
you pretty much review a lot of the new stuff I listen to)

Gyromania
August 3rd 2011


15717 Comments


I'm still going to review this, but you did a fantastic job man. Have a hearty pos.

vanderb0b
August 3rd 2011


3473 Comments


Nice review. Program Music I was wonderful, so I'll give this a listen. Not sure how a Daisuke album with only piano would turn out, though.

liledman
August 3rd 2011


3826 Comments


nice, but a few things i would fix:

simple yet beautiful sounds of the piano.


i would say the piano is capable of the most complex timbre, if the compositions are simple, say that instead.

Daisuke is fairly affluent in piano and its composition


he knows how a piano is made and that he is rich in piano?

Daisuke took his electronic sensibilities to new heights, creating a frenetic, chaotic record that was both disjointed and disappointingly jarring considering its predecessor’s pedigree. 88 mirrors this sublimely


mirror image, but complete opposite?

or in shot capricious bursts


short* and capricious may not be the best word

vanderb0b
August 3rd 2011


3473 Comments


I listened to some bits and pieces of this, and it seems pretty interesting. One thing about the review, though:

Whether it be the eerie, melancholy of “Scorpion of Red Eyes,”

“Scorpion of Red Eyes,” on the other hand, isn’t a cover; so much as it is a re-imagining of the first few minutes of “Stella,” his most critically acclaimed work. Lacking the more complex moods found in the original, it comes off a light and forgettable.

This seems a bit contradictory. Also, "it comes off a light"

Tyrael
August 3rd 2011


20879 Comments


Great job Xeno, I really want to hear this now

Digging: Darkspace - Dark Space III I

Liberi Fatali
Emeritus
August 3rd 2011


1588 Comments


This is cruel, let my ears hear this now!

RagingStorm
August 3rd 2011


509 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this sounds awesome, nice review man

TheArkitecht
August 3rd 2011


1672 Comments


I didn't even know Daisuke had a new album out till yesterdayso I look forward to hearing this, plus piano is one of my favourite instruments.

Sanders
August 3rd 2011


2351 Comments


Not come across this guy before, what artists does he sound like?

Liberi Fatali
Emeritus
August 3rd 2011


1588 Comments


World's End Girlfriend, but if you haven't heard of Kashiwa Daisuke you probably haven't heard of him either.

It is contemporary classical music. This album is probably close to something along the lines of Ludovico Einaudi or Phillip Glass.

Sanders
August 3rd 2011


2351 Comments


Yeah, not heard of World's End Girlfriend either unfortunately, but I do like Ludovico Einaudi. It appears I shall have to check this out!



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