Tomotsugu Nakamura: Soundium

Soundium presents a forty-one-minute collection of bright, playful electronica from Tomotsugu Nakamura that one might as easily liken to a toybox of musical miniatures as a garden of natural delights. The Tokyo-based artist threads a number of acoustic and electronic sounds into the recording's thirteen tracks (acoustic guitar and piano recurring acoustic elements), some of which suggest connections to the work of other artists: “Gallop” and “Typist on the Moon,” for example, flutter and flicker in a manner reminiscent of Systemisch-era Oval, while “Snowdrop” exudes the kind of child-like playfulness one encounters in Lullatone's music. Having said that, Nakamura's his own man for the most part.

His music at times leans in the direction of pastoral ambient, a case in point “Mimosa (Fluid Guitar)” whose acoustic guitar strums appear against a peaceful backdrop of shimmer and clicks in a way that evokes the calm and stillness of a remote nature setting. “Fawn” likewise possesses a wondrous character consistent with the feelings one experiences upon encountering wildlife such as deer in their natural habitat. Largely eschewing abstraction, Nakamura uses his electroacoustic materials to conjure imagined locales: in an interesting study in contrast, “Glisten Surface Under the Sun” evokes a sweltering summer afternoon at a peaceful outdoor setting, whereas “Glisten Surface Under the Moon” suggests the almost eerie stillness that sets in at the same place after dark. The penultimate track “Frozen Trees” also speaks highly in favour of Nakamura's gifts in the way it patiently establishes its meditative micro-world, and one ultimately comes away from Soundium with words like iridescent and colourful in mind.

May 2014