KOSS - SILENCE LP (MULE MUSIQ)
In 2005, Toshiya Kawasaki founded Mule Musiq in Tokyo out of a desire to introduce the world to the music of Kuniyuki Takahashi aka Koss, one of the most multi-layered contemporary musicians of Japan. In the time since, Kuniyuki has stayed consistent and continued to evolve in terms of mastery, musicality, and freedom of artistic. His love for music has never been caged in a singular style or genre. Under his own name, as Koss, or in collaborative works with musicians like Henrik Schwarz, Marcus Henriksson, and Sebastian Mullaert aka Minilogue, he explored many different musical languages, from house and techno to ambient, jazz and classical. As a listener he also loves a variety of styles, ranging from old 4AD and Factory Records releases to industrial bands like SPK and Test Dept, producers like Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, and pianists like Bill Evans, Abdullah Ibrahim, and Lyle Mays. They have all left a hidden mark on his music without ever being copied. Traces of those three jazz piano masters can now be heard and felt in Silence, Kuniyuki's fifth solo album as Koss. Its title is an announcement, as the listener will not find any club groove, overwhelming bass power, or rhythmic dance attraction on it. Nevertheless, all of the tracks are very rhythmic and groove gently. The piano plays a key role even though most of the music was created electronically. It's quiet and calm melodies dive into smooth electronic spheres and field recordings or are embraced by low-key percussions and reduced string elements. As usual, Kuniyuki's music is not overcharged, in order to leave space between the notes -- a technique that enlarges the silence and sharpens the ear for sounds that float between and above it. Everything was produced in-depth in his own private studio with computer software, a Roland System-1, a Jupiter-8, and the dynamic percussion synth Korg Wavedrum. Nothing that is audible is written, as Kuniyuki likes to improvise. Only later, after he has been totally absorbed by what his mind and soul performed, does he fine-tune the recordings. His initial plan was to produce a real acoustic-sounding album, but then the electronics joined softly and Kuniyuki intuitively found a simple balance between both sonic worlds. These pieces are deep, minimal, and offer much to explore.