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Chihei Hatakeyama, Hakobune, zakè, From Overseas 'Live Improvisations' [LP]

Chihei Hatakeyama, Hakobune, zakè, From Overseas 'Live Improvisations' [LP]

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160g transparent fuchsia rose (edition of 100) and audiophile black (edition of 400) vinyl. Record housed in a 3mm semi-gloss jacket. B/W center labels. White paper innersleeves. Shrinkwrapped. Bandcamp download code included.

LIVE IMPROVISATIONS ​(Zakè Drone Recordings, 2024)

"The colours that appear in autumn are the soul of perennial transition and slow breath; once a chill sets in and the chlorophyll-green of the leaves migrates to the trunk of the tree, those yellows, oranges and reds emerge from chemical remnants that have in fact been there all along, awaiting their moment on the forest’s lissome stage. It is a graceful manner of self-sustenance for the organism, but a source of ineffable beauty for the observing eye. Potent, poetic echoes of nostalgia and mortality coexist in a quiet fanfare brought to its end by literal gravity and decay.

There is a tender, undeniable strain of this fundamental complexity in the catalogues of Japanese ambient legends Chihei Hatakeyama and Hakobune (aka Takahiro Yorifuji), who have each composed dozens of works for the likes of kranky, Room40, Constellation Tatsu, and Hatakeyama’s own White Paddy Mountain, among many others. Yorifuji’s gorgeous 2019 LP for Past Inside the Present is even fittingly titled The Last of Our Time Together, an acknowledgement of the falling-away to which all things are subject.

Resulting from a 2014 session between Yorifuji and Hatakeyama in rural Japan, and unearthed after a curatorial conversation with PITP head Zach Frizzell, the 22-minute unfurling of “Live Improvisation I” displays a depth of intuition and pacing that can only develop over years of individual exploration and a particular aligning of the planets. Their progressions evolve almost imperceptibly, allowing for moments of negative space that give way to gossamer swells in the purest of warm guitar tones. At times the only reminder of human hands in this billowing expanse is the distant flit of a fingertip, lightly scratching the A string while shifting chords. Altogether it gives the feeling of being dropped into one extended moment of an eternal drift, eons easing outward on either side of the fade.

Inspired by the richness of this source material, zakè (Frizzell) and From Overseas (aka Kévin Séry) crafted “Live Improvisation II” in order to forge an intercontinental bond, similarly performed in a single take with minimal editing. While graced by a kindred patina, their side adds the subtle but very effective crackle of a well-loved, dusty LP that’s been pulled from the shelf after a few years; whatever sounds the grooves might have once held, they are reshaped here into an impressionistic memory of a first listen long ago. Frizzell and Séry’s remarkable long-form album Demain, dès l’aube (PITP, 2023) forged its environments from nocturnal mystery, but on Live Improvisations they offer a lucid, delicate glow that rises humbly across the loam.

Since 2018 zakè has produced an unimpeachable catalog of affecting ambient releases, both solo and as an adventurous, prolific collaborator. From Overseas may be the newest to the game among this quartet, but his work effortlessly flows into that of the legacy artists, and the torch they collectively bear will continue to light the caverns of the ever-expanding modern experimental landscape. Live Improvisations brims with a consistent mastery of tone, texture and movement, and elegantly takes its time in doing so."

Live Improvisation I - Written, recorded, and produced by Chihei Hatakeyama and Hakobune
Live Improvisation II - Written, recorded, and produced by zakè and From Overseas
Additional guitar textures by Chihei Hatakeyama and Hakobune
Mastered at Ambient Mountain House by James Bernard
Photography, layout, and design by zakè
Cut at WMM - Pressed by GGR
Marketed, distributed, and phonographic copyright: © 2024 Zakè Drone Recordings

© 2024 Zakè Drone Recordings
℗ 2024 Past Inside the Present Publishing (BMI)
This is ZD-027


“8.1/10 … [Chihei] Hatakeyama uses the palette of the True Drone Believers but he seeds his overstretched chords with easy pleasures.”
– Pitchfork on Minima Moralia

“I turn the volume way up and allow the frequencies to wash over me, like a cloud, or a daydream; here I find myself dissolving in the vapor of sound, the way trees dissolve in the mist.”
– Headphone Commute on Hakobune’s In Arboreal Whispering

“Another fantastic release in an already consistently solid catalogue… patient, reflective music on a cinematic scale.”
– Discipline Mag on zakè​’s Orchestral Tape Studies II

“Real melancholia with a gently persuasive sense of movement. It sweeps up and around you, stretches out to infinity and leaves a lasting impression on your heart.”
– Juno Records on zaké & From Overseas’ Demain, dès l’aube


'Demain, d​è​s l​’​aube'
by From Overseas & zakè
Past Inside the Present, US
PITP-V054, 2023

'The Last of Our Time Together'
by Hakobune
Past Inside the Present, US
PITP-V005, 2019

'Forgotten Hill'
by Chihei Hatakeyama
Room40, AU
RM4111, 2019
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