Chihei Hatakeyama: A Long Journey (Home Normal)
A Long Journey ebbs and flows like a gentle tide. It has that almost fetal quality of a warm wave, rolling up and down, in and out, alternatingly immersive and buoyant. And much like waves near a shore, its surface ripples and reflects, shimmering light when permitted, otherwise undulating in cool hues. It’s a collection of beatless, ambient tracks that are organic and freeform, dreamlike and warm — it doesn’t have much bite nor does it really aspire to. Field recordings are peppered throughout the album, giving it a familiar human touch. A Long Journey feels like the moment between dreaming and waking, a delicate, precious place to reside, full of disembodied recordings from unknown places, and yet it feels like home.