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Fumio Itabashi's jazz classic 'Watarase' remixed by Kuniyuki and Henrik Schwarz

The masters of electronic music deliver breathtaking interpretations via Studio Mule

  • Patrizio Cavaliere
  • 22 February 2021
Fumio Itabashi's jazz classic 'Watarase' remixed by Kuniyuki and Henrik Schwarz

Two of electronic music's most revered and cultured studio alchemists have been drafted in to provide reworks of Fumio Itabashi's 1982 classic, 'Watarase'.

The extraordinary original version is considered something of a Japanese jazz masterpiece. It was released as part of an album of the same name by celebrated pianist, Itabashi, and has been re-issued on numerous occasion, such is the demand for the seminal music. Interestingly, this isn't the first time this particular cast of players have collaborated on musical projects. German techno icon Schwarz was invited to perform vocals on Kuniyuki and Itabashi's joint production 'Once Again', which featured on Kuniyuki's 2009 album, 'Walking In The Naked City'.

Henrik Schwarz's version of 'Waterase' manages to retain the atmosphere of Itabashi's original without using any discernible traces of the masterful piano solo from which it was entirely formed. Instead, he opts to build a new track based on the same theme, comprised of delicate layers of distorted keys, airy strings, delicate percussion and subtly growling bass. Kuniyuki's remix appears to make use of the original piano notation while orchestrating around it an entirely new and breathtakingly beautiful score, serving to further enhance its innate gravity.

Each listen reveals new textures on both new versions, and it's easy to get a sense of just how respectfully each producer undertook their respective remix tasks. This is genuinely dazzling work by two true masters of both music production and sound design, and a fitting set of tributes to the timeless original piece.

Fumio Itabashi' 'Watarase' (Henrik Schwarz and Kuniyuki remixes) is out March 19 on Studio Mule. You can pre-order herehere

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