Review Summary: A return to form, and the most comfortably genuine that Kashiwa Daisuke has sounded in years.
Kashiwa Daisuke sure has had a strange career, and perhaps that’s part of his charm. His releases are sporadic, with bouts of productivity met with dry spells. He bounces from glitch-y electronics to neo-classical to piano ballads without any sort of transition, making every new release a jarring surprise--sometimes pleasant, sometimes not. Making a name for himself with Program Music I
the behemoth of an album that sought to seamlessly mix electronics and classical instrumentation in a very post-rock sort of manner. But since then, Daisuke has staunchly refused to return to such a sound, going on polar opposite ends of the spectrum. However, it’s with Re:
that we see the artist inch his way somewhere towards a more stable middle ground.
, for all intents and purposes, is a strange release. Part re-release, part remix album, and part new material, the album is a mish-mash of different styles in different eras of Daisuke’s career. It’s neat to see the multiple sides—piano music, spastic electronics, and neo-classical appear on one tidy little collection. Yet it really isn’t all that tidy, actually. Re:
suffers from the same identity crisis as it’s uglier brother, 5 Dec.
Said album was all over the place and bursting at the seams due to its own ill restrained creative ambitions. An often glitchy, trippy sort of mess, Daisuke’s newest lacks any sort of direction. Extended songs go onward and upward, never really feeling quite complete. There’s a lot of amazing music to be found, but it’s buried beneath to overbearing amount of filler.
Luckily, the “amazing” moments mentioned above are worth the price of checking things out. Fans have been clamoring for a follow up much in the vein of his landmark release, and Re:
is as close as one could get. A few songs even manage to wriggle their way into becoming some of his best work to date. The near 11-minute “colophon.#02” is a beautiful track reminiscent of the stunning beginning moments of “Write Once, Run Melos.” The “april” series calls to mind 2011’s 88
--a very personal, piano driven affair. And then on the opposite end of the spectrum lies the bouncy and exciting “Jazz pour une infante défunte,” an interesting take on the popular Revel piece. When ambitions are in check, Re:
is a definite stunner.
Kashiwa Daisuke has made a name for himself in spite of everything he does to seemingly prevent that. Never one to stay grounded, Re:
is a return to form, featuring a sound that Daisuke feels so intensely comfortable with. Just be prepared to wade through and unfortunate amount of filler to get there.