‘山水 / Sansui’ is the second in our series of releases with the Belgian artist Stijn Hüwels. This time Stijn is working with another young Japanese composer in Norihito Suda.
The album was made on the same tour of Japan Stijn did in 2015 that saw him record his previous release with us alongside Tomoyoshi Date. Whilst ’hochu-ekki-tou’ was a work of great restraint and tonal purity, ‘山水 / Sansui’ is a far earthier affair as the album takes advantage of Stijn’s slowly enveloping and grainy guitar echoes submerged in lightly touched field work to great effect. We chose to master the final album on some used 1/4” tape just to highlight the beauty of such dusty recordings (as reflected by that lovely fuzzy cover). Whilst the slow and patient build-up is maintained, this is as a result a far different work.
The highlight of the album for me, is the wonderful juxtaposition of ’日常の韻律 / Nichizyou no Inritsu’ with its looping acoustic guitar and birdsong. As archetypal such organic minimalist work may well be in source, it acts as a cleansing of the mind before the magnificent 17 minute closing drones of ’静隠 / Seion’ and all the dusty melody that lay before it.
The album closes with the sounds of a night in the suburbs of Kyoto; the cicada’s on the trees, people enjoying their time in the muffled distance, and all the while those guitar echoes fading out to sleep. A beautifully mapped little organic masterpiece.
All music by Norihito Suda + Stijn Hüwels
Recorded Sept 27th 2015 at Music Studio Sioux, Kyoto.
Mixed by Norihito Suda
Cover art by Norihito + Stijn
Mastered by Ian Hawgood
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