Calm presents his latest sublime set of sounds, eliciting transcendent states on the gorgeously meditative ‘Quiet Music Under The Moon’.
Even for those unfamiliar with Fukagawa Kiyotaka’s vast catalogue recorded under the Calm moniker, the descriptive album title offers a fairly strong clue as to the tone of the music. Actively producing for somewhere in the region of 30 years, the Japanese artist is revered for his jazz-flecked Balearic, downtempo and ambient productions, and his latest work is elegantly rooted in the soothing tones of the latter. The album arrives on Kiyotaka’s long-running Music Conception imprint, a project launched to provide a platform for his prolific output alongside carefully chosen morsels from a selection of his contemporaries. Following releases on Hell Yeah and Music For Dreams, Calm shows genuinely sublime form across the profoundly immersive collection.
The weightless serenity of the opening track ‘Drift To Dreamland’ sets the tone, with languid piano motifs gliding over gentle chords and endless pads before drifting into the more melancholic shades of the LP’s title track. Here, bittersweet swells delicately combine, with poignant chord progressions effortlessly shifting as the unknown landscape slowly reveals itself. The music soon segues into the cinematic, with the celluloid shimmer of ‘Late Summer Night’ morphing through synth-led passages that appear plucked from avant-garde celluloid, its seductive melodies primed to soothe world-weary souls. Elsewhere, the synth-led haze and fizzing arpeggios of ‘Moonage Daydream’ evoke the new wave abandon of Tangerine Dream, before the alien-but-unthreatening ‘Moonlight Shadow’ blends airy piano motifs with suspenseful bass and dream-inducing harmonies.
Immaculately constructed and equipped with mystic intention, the musical mastery of ‘Quiet Music Under The Moon’ serves as a potent mindfulness facilitator, at the very least providing a powerful escape from the stresses of modern living.