Published Feb 26, 2020The opening notes and subsequently the majority of Leo Takami's third full-length album enthusiastically invites us to explore his sonic paintings, the brush strokes borrowed from chamber music, jazz, orchestral, classical and ambient structures.
Takami shows that he is a master at composition, weaving in and out of directly opposing emotional states while featuring his ability to manipulate his instruments to whatever form he chooses. His solos and choices of orchestration, whether with guitar, a delicate piano in "Children on Their Birthdays," or a choral of voices in "Garden of Light" are integral to the mood that forms the narrative, be it a reflective garden or sorrowful memory of children's birthdays.
Many of the percussive or electronic sounds bring a sense of nostalgia, with '80s-influenced forms reminiscent of Jon Hassell's early work, but with a decidedly more modern touch.
Felis Catus and Silence is a sublime offering with perhaps a single track that feels slightly out of place, mostly due to its lack of fusion. Lending to a more modern jazz aesthetic, "Unknown" is really about demonstrating Takami's prowess as a performer, rather than forming a narrative with sound and composition. Perhaps Takami included this piece because cats (felis catus) have fluctuating personalities themselves, and nothing would pay better tribute than an album full of mood swings, mostly loving, at times sorrowful, at times playful, but very skilfully unpredictable. (Unseen Worlds)