Ametsub: The Nothings Of The North (Progressive Form)
It’s no surprise that Japanese producer Ametsub has earned the praise of esteemed music veteran Ryuichi Sakamoto – the piano manipulations that comprise the backbone of The Nothings Of The North are cut from the same proverbial cloth. This album is a breath of fresh air, though, despite the similarities in approach to piano-based sampling. It is a fully formed, beautifully realized album of instrumental electronic music that shimmers and shimmies alternately with an exuberance that is inspiring and contagious.
Some of the tracks are glitchy, while others are more fluid – some such as “Time For Trees” would sound right at home next to anything on Neo Ouija in its sunniness, but that sort of tried & true IDM sound of melodic synths and broken beats is not standard fare here. The strongest tracks are based around fragments of piano, such as the hiccupy “Old Obscurity” or the lush “Faint Dazzlings” (if ever there were a track that lived up to its name, this is it).
It’s surprising that I hadn’t heard mention of this album, being over a year old now, in any best of 2009 lists or even blog posts that I’d stumbled across; if I’d heard it sooner I would have probably included it myself. Extremely good stuff, well worth the effort to track it down.