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TRACK LIST: 1. Part I 2:11 2. Part II 12:14 3. Part III 18:40 4. Part IV 10:56 All tracks: composed, produced, & engineered by Murata. SOLO PILOT: Satoshi - synthesizers & piano
Prolusion. "Moss" is the debut album by the one-man project RENGA with the Japanese composer and keyboardist Satoshi Murata behind it.
Synopsis. Presenting an exclusively keyboard-based music, "Moss" hardly suits the general direction of the activity of Poseidon Records and is an atypical production for the label. On the other hand, however, this is a very uncommon keyboard album, to say the least. Having skillfully combined his mastery as a pianist with the possibilities of modern synthesizers, Murata created the work, which, at least compositionally and atmospherically, is closer to RIO rather than Electronic Rock. But while the music is dark, tense, and eclectic throughout and, for the most part, has a pronounced dissonant sense to it, I am not willing to use the term of RIO in this very case, preferring instead the more generalized one, Avant-garde. Here is the picture, which entered the associative section of my brain when I started listening to the album and dominated there down to the end of it. The intricate and eccentric, constantly developing solos of piano, the fragility of which is perceptible almost physically, are as if always in search of rescue from the walls and conglomerations of slow, law-tone, sinister and hypnotic passages of synthesizers that surround them. Since their stampede from there often borders on a panic, it looks more spontaneous than purposeful and, thus, is doomed to misfortune. The musical world, created by Murata, appears to be really dark and cruel. The first composition doesn't exhibit any electronic features and is about Symphonic Avant-garde. Part IV is the only track here where all the events flow slowly, as if being in a hypnotic trance. The music is somewhat of a spacey Avant-garde with little quantity of distinct symphonic and electronic textures. Electronically Symphonic Avant-garde is presented on the longest pieces: Parts II & III. The sequenced percussion-like sound, pulsating throughout the first of them, was used appropriately and gives a more immediate hypnotic feel to the music there, which, as such, is highly eccentric. The 18-minute Part III is the most diverse and is probably the best track here, but there is the ubiquitous, exceedingly loud sounds of a drum machine, which just prevents the normal perception of it.
Conclusion. I like not everything about this recording, and especially the presence of a drum machine on the longest track. In all, however, "Moss" is one of the best and most uniquely sounding keyboard-based albums among those by 'solo pilots' that I've heard in the last few years. Recommended to those accepting and comprehending any forms of avant-garde music and the most adventurous fans of Electronic Rock.
VM: May 28, 2004
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