Nobukazu Takemura

Finale: For Issey Miyake Men by Naori Takizawa

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The second and final volume of music recorded for the Naori Takizawa fashion show is far more abstract and haunting than the first, with a different set of elements introduced into and equally seamless mix. On the earlier album, Milano (also known as "the first set"), Nobukazu Takemura relied heavily on harmonic variations on what he decided were "classically-oriented" themes. He employed computer-driven programs that simulated the sounds of winds, strings, reeds, and even percussion, all of them very warm and organic sounding. Where themes and variations developed on one another into intricate lyric patterns and rhythmic pulses, the sounds here -- while resembling in places those found on the earlier disc (particularly the sound of the harp) -- are also abstracted with industrial sounds, digital noises, and structured musical entropy, where all thematic elements that are created are gradually and systematically dismantled in order to arrive at their most base materials: whether that be a note or only a un-pitched sound. What holds this sprawling electronic soundscape together is Takemura's insistence on bringing the listener with him. There are a few note patterns that seem to repeat every once in a blue moon, no matter how disenfranchised the material becomes. Using spare, long tones and shifting edges with the corners rounded in the mixing booth, Takemura is able to make some colorful music that is as reliant on timing, nuance, and texture as it is on the gear he composes and performs it on. Finale is a haunting, stark work, that, while shrouded in stillness, never quite stands still, is almost lush in places, full of mood, subtlety, and an impeccable maverick method. What a way to end a fashion show.

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