Chihei Hatakeyama
Void XI


3.5
great

Review

by Raul Stanciu STAFF
March 23rd, 2017 | 21 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A soothing ambient journey...

Chihei Hatakeyama is a prolific Japanese drone/ambient musician and producer that established himself in the underground scene through diverse releases, ranging from dreamy to glacial sound scapes, as well as more abrasive, haunting experiments. Using his guitar and synthesizers as the basis, the man processes them on the computer to achieve different tones or layers them to build a wall of sound. The Void series, especially the latest installments, have focused on a warm, subdued direction which is very rewarding, especially when you want to unwind.

On Void XI there is only one track, 'Fade to Feedback', divided in two pieces. The first 40 minutes start with a lovely synth pad joined early on by sparse guitar leads. Drenched in echo and reverb, they meld, forming one lush sound that beautifully drifts along. The instruments' prominence alternates, while also punctuating the bass from time to time to enhance the track's impact. During the second half of this gentle epic, Chihei plays with the volumes, so that one minute it feels like he's performing in your room and the other 50 meters away. The process is interesting, since it keeps you attentive without disturbing the peaceful atmosphere. Meanwhile, the 2nd part (22 minutes) is slightly sharper in tone as Hatakeyama combines piano notes and slightly poignant droning synths. Still, it doesn't stray away in sound, maintaining the overall mood throughout. As the piano sinks under the latter's low notes, it's like a rather disappointing reminder you're about to end this pleasant journey.

In the end, much like the entire ambient genre, it requires some patience or the right moment to sink in. Whether you use it as background music, a main way to relax or sleep, it still depends on which type of sounds your ear finds soothing/relaxing. For those who want a nice, comforting album without odd detours or dark industrial noises, Void XI should be a great listen. Nevertheless, if you look for more drastic changes from one track to another, you'll find it harder to digest.




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user ratings (9)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
March 23rd 2017


4369 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

A really nice musician with a lot of relaxing ambient albums (and some amazing artworks - I love the seaside themed photos!). You can stream the album here - http://chiheihatakeyama.bandcamp.com/album/void-xi

Digging: Carbon Based Lifeforms - Derelicts

Rev
March 23rd 2017


9795 Comments


i haven't heard anything from this dude since The River and Norma, will definitely check this out!

tacos N stuff
March 24th 2017


2644 Comments


will def need to check this, all his other work is really good, especially long journey

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2017


4369 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I've been listening his music for a year or so, The Storm of Silence, Void X and Coastal Railroads in Memories are really nice. This one is very close to those too.

Alucard125
March 24th 2017


578 Comments


Same, I've been listening to him for about a year - absolutely love Requiem for Black Night. Not really been able to get into the Void series, but Ill check this one out.

zaruyache
March 24th 2017


17705 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

Coastal Railroads in Memories was pretty good. Glad someone reviewed something of his :-) Maybe gonna jam this today.

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2017


4369 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I wanted to catch one of the new albums to be featured on the front page. This way it gets more exposure than usual.

Pho3nix
March 24th 2017


347 Comments


Need to check this out, thanks for the review!

Is 'Above the Desert' any good?

Saros
March 24th 2017


21 Comments


This seems interesting. Sounds like something I might like. Maybe I'll give a listen and see.

Digging: Nujabes/Fat Jon - Departure

CoreyHaimsGhost
March 24th 2017


255 Comments


Is this depressing i need something depressive

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2017


4369 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@Pho3nix - Above the Desert is a bit darker IMO, depends on what you like. I found it less interesting.



@CoreyHaimsGhost - It ain't depressive. If you want something a lot darker/sadder, listen to Wordclock - Self Destruction Themes

Dewinged
March 24th 2017


5759 Comments


This sounds like what Noveller does with guitar pedals, need to check this asap.

Digging: Spotlights - Seismic

Snide
March 25th 2017


7050 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Commenting to check this later.

Hopelust
March 25th 2017


2726 Comments


My god this is spectacular and I'm only four minutes in.

hal1ax
March 25th 2017


8734 Comments


i liked Minima Moralia by this guy. might have to check this one

insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
March 26th 2017


4369 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I have yet to listen to most of his earlier stuff.

MO
March 28th 2017


21934 Comments


gotta check this

Evokaphile
March 28th 2017


5334 Comments


sounds awesome

Digging: The Tragically Hip - Road Apples

zaruyache
March 28th 2017


17705 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

This is pretty but as far as ambient goes it's not really much more than that, imo. Just droney, sleepy tones.

Snide
April 2nd 2017


7050 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This was relaxing to listen to, but a little underwhelming at times.

Might drop the rating, I agree with Zaru.



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