Published Mar 14, 2017Midori Takada's Through the Looking Glass has long been held up as a world-class example of early 1980s ambient music. Originally issued in 1983 by RCA Japan as a limited edition in its Red Seal series, the album was the subject of obsessive chatter long after it went out of print.
Thirty-four years later, we finally have a reissue of Takada's classic. When you consider that Steve Reich's landmark "Six Marimbas" followed her "Crossing" (track two on this four-track album) by three full years, the weight of Takada's influence is clear.
Though it won't sound cutting edge to today's young fans of the genre, it certainly was at the time, with the album standing up remarkably well all these years later. "Mr. Henri Rousseau's Dream" is a highlight, celebrating the jungle settings the great French post-impressionist painter was so fond of. It is a lovely, fitting tribute.
There are times when vinyl enthusiasts value LPs as much for their rarity as for the quality of their content. Not so in this case: Three-and-a-half decades on, Through the Looking Glass remains both a compelling achievement and an agreeable listen. (Palto Flats)