Willits + Sakamoto
This is the second album of collaborations between legendary pianist and composer Ryuichi Sakamoto and Bay Area experimental musician Christopher Willits; it consists of six subtle, slow-moving pieces, ranging from four to seven minutes in length. The album is based upon piano sketches that Sakamoto sent to Willits shortly after the release of their debut, 2008's Ocean Fire. Sakamoto's sharply tuned piano cuts through Willits's soothing soundscape of drone over a bed of static, creating a tension throughout the six pieces that underpins what would be an otherwise soothing, ambient work. The sensation is not unlike drifting off to sleep on a night flight and being sporadically pulled back from sleep by the activity around you, finding yourself jerked awake after just falling into a soothing sleep, never allowed to fall into a deep slumber. It's this constant dynamic of push-pull throughout that makes Ancient Future a compelling listen.
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