Soshi Takeda’s second album, Floating Mountains, was produced between the onset of winter and the blossoming of spring. Using only vintage analog gear – all of it at least 30 years old – he set out to soundtrack a magical, mythological world, inspired by a book of Chinese landscapes. Drawing on these photos of traditional and unspoiled locations, the results are actually pretty “balearic”. More Mediterranean say, than Nan Hai, Dong Hai, or The Pacific. The collected 6 tracks consist of largely downtempo numbers, where musical reference points might be Art Of Noise, or Dip In The Pool`s stylish “synth” pop. Yeah it`s that accomplished. Ancient Fish is a creation constructed from congas and slo-mo steel pans. Its hushed soft focus Fairlight-esque vocal treatments eventually seduced by a muted, but forceful, tribal thump. The fluid filled vessels of Water Reverberation, ringing, singing, like gamelan gongs, are similarity tethered to a heartbeat-like boom. Forming a fluid current that acts as cover for near subliminal guitar and key counterpoint. Hidden Wave could be Jun Fukamachi`s seminal Nicole catwalk score, given a slight disco bump. A swirling romantic ZTT sigh defining, characterizing, everything on offer. A classy combination of hand and machine percussion driving it all.
The gently chiming Quarry, comes on like an “ambient” take of euphoric `90s Italian house. The sort of thing you’d find hidden on the flip of a “Scream-Up”. A calm after the rush, full of fluttering synthesized flutes – a la Frankie Knuckles / Eric Kupper`s Whistle Song – shuffling to a sedate 5, 6AM skank. The titular Floating Mountains employs these same elements and instead builds a sort of dance floor Moments In Love. A marriage of New York garage swing and new age crystal-aligning glissando. Lantern Reflection too boosts the BPMs a bit, summoning festival sunrise scenes. I see seas of ecstatic arms in the air as it does its thing. Soshi stretching his 6-strings into weeping whale song-like arcs, and the combination conjuring comparisons to Marshall Jefferson’s righteous remix of System 7`s Sirenes.
Digitally there`s the bonus of Deep Breath. A bongo`d boogie which originally featured on the 100% Silk label sampler, 2nd Life Silk, and that acts as a final showcase for Soshi’s damn fine fretwork. His soloing axe dueling, dueting, engaged in an epic “excuse me” with a heavenly choir and some equally heavenly piano.
Tokyo-based producer Soshi Takeda`s Floating Mountains will be released on October 8th, care of 100% Silk.