The ambient songs produced by Tokyo musician Chihei Hatakeyama each project a unique spatiotemporal presence; their haziness conjures a memory of being somewhere once, their barely-there melodies bringing forth long-forgotten emotions and thoughts. The pieces that comprise Mirage, Hatakeyama's fourth album for the Room40 label, were specifically crafted to replicate the bustling reverberations of the labyrinthine bazaars of Turkey.
As is his nature, he extensively processes raw instrumentation into bleary unrecognizability; however, the disembodied voices and field recordings that accompany the familiar clouds of mellifluous drone help lock these songs into a specific location in space-time — one that is extremely personal to the musician, but not necessarily alien to the listener. Hatakeyama even leaves some of his guitar and piano passages barely touched by his software, such that delicate melodies flourish freely.
As a result, Mirage is less an abstract, hazy thought-form and is more akin to a fairly recent memory fondly recalled. It's Hatakeyama's most solidly realized song cycle yet. (Room 40)