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Taishi Kamiya: Spectra Of Air (Home Normal)

Abstraction of acoustic instrument recordings is not new… it’s been around for the last half-century plus, and even the newer incarnation of digital signal processing via laptop and software is relatively commonplace in more leftfield circles. Japanese musician Kamiya presents his take on the idea, working from the saxophone as his main ax. His playing is manipulated and layered in ways that detach from association with the instrument, although usually there is a mix of recognizable sounds and abstractions. “Misty Morning,” for instance, is quite removed from the saxophone, all textural filters and reshaped sounds. It’s the dreamiest of the bunch, working well as the centerpiece of this album. If “Misty Morning” is the centerpiece, then “Air” is the album’s climax. It’sĀ far more immediate, obviously layers of saxophone, unresolved drones weaving in and out of one another with some more traditional playing in key. “Drowse” is the comedown, a nice denouement to the drama that precedes it. It’s entirely reed noise and overtones, no immediately “musical” sound but rather a sedate fog that rolls in and out to bring the album to a close. It certainly lives up to its title, a study in atmosphere that has range. It’s all airy and gaseous, but some tracks take more shape than others… like comparing clouds.

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