After the melancholy Setayaga blues of Relator (on Taku Sugimoto's Slubmusic label) and through the abrasive samurai sword-wielding Résophonie (on A Bruit Secret) and the minimal motoric riffing of Don't Forget to Boogie (Idea) and its sequel, Route 13 to the Gates of Hell (Headz), Japanese guitarist Tetuzi Akiyama continued an impressive string of solo albums with these eight brief, introspective miniatures for the Chicago-based Locust imprint, his second release on the label after bject with Utah Kawasaki and Masahiko Okura. With its feel for space and occasional bottleneck brushstrokes, it marks a slight return to the territory the guitarist explored on Relator, paring his beloved blues down to the barest of bare essentials. Of the many who found themselves unwittingly tagging along behind the John Fahey revival bandwagon, Akiyama is perhaps the closest in spirit to Blind Joe Death. (Loren Connors can also be heard as a distant relation, and there's more than passing nod to Sugimoto's pre-2000 work.) Pre-Existence is a classic example of the less-is-more aesthetic Fahey admired, a music of great depth and nuance created with the strictest economy of material and breathtaking attention to detail.
AllMusic Review by Dan Warburton