Shuta Hasunuma: Shuta Hasunuma
Western Vinyl

Given how crowded the field is becoming with each passing day, it must be increasingly difficult for field recording-sound sculpting artists to differentiate their work from others'. Though Japanese artist Shuta Hasunuma's pieces evidence the bucolic and detailed qualities characteristic of the genre, his work is distinguished by its fragile delicacy and dreamy flow: a light piano touch, for instance, imbues “Double Navaho” with a hymnal quality that brings it into Keith Kenniff's Helios-Goldmund orbit. Assembled from natural sounds, rippling electronic textures, and sparse guitar, piano, and flute elements, Hasunuma's material ultimately impresses most for its melancholy, often child-like, melodic dimension. Hear, for example, how lovely a simple synth figure becomes when coupled with melancholy piano chords in “Prelude.” Titles sometimes tell half the story: the placid “Morning Fanfare” pairs field noises originating from Japan 's streets and countryside with the serpentine meander of a wooden flute while the heavily-looping “Repeat Cycles” resembles industrial machinery. While not the most affecting piece, the idiosyncratic “Long Road Home” catches the ear most of all when, amidst subtle electronic manipulations, Hasunuma whistles in tandem with a stop-start glockenspiel melody.

November 2006