Masahiro Takahashi describes his new album, Humid Sun, as a “Sonic Vacation”, an “auditory tool” to help folks through the harsh winters of his new hometown, Toronto. As such, it’s an excellent exercise in modern Exotica.
Enlisting a tag team of talented musicians, both local and from his old base, Tokyo, Takahashi has tailored 10 tracks to soundtrack an imaginary tropics. Everything on offer is super lush, and super laidback. Listening is like languishing Beachside, or poolside, on a lazy afternoon sipping cocktails in the sun. The music gently bubbling bucolic, warm, like an aural jacuzzi. The brilliant blue-sky themes like a “lounge” Satoshi & Makoto.
Weaving tapestries of tropical chimes and Hawaiian guitar that dance to computerized coconut shells, while sax and piano play a peaceful jazz. Relaxing reeds and softly swirling Wurlitzer keys skinny-dipping with sun-stroked `80s synth swells in sampled surf. The sublime 6-string arcs and muted horn harmonies of Sea Fireflies recall the gossamer gear of, say, Gabriel Schray, while Sweltering Drive, takes the tempo up a tad – bumping on sunset to the shake of machined maracas and lithe live bass.
Fantasy In Soy Sauce conjures images of Zen garden water features. A “kankyo ongaku” of melodic mock marimba movements. Laced with lapping, lyrical tides, and electronics that blink like light from distant stars. The experience overall akin to hitting a hammock in Haruomi Hosono’s honeymoon hideaway.
Masahiro Takahashi’s Humid Sun can be ordered directly from Telephone Explosion.