radicalfashion, Odori

Andy Battaglia

By Andy Battaglia

on 04.22.11 in Reviews


The middle ground between ambient electronic music and avant classical forms.

Mesmerizing like an ambient electronic album but rigorous and tender in a way that skews closer to classical, Radicalfashion's Odori interweaves quietly powerful piano figures with glitches and ticks tuned for texture. There's a dynamism at work in the piano — lots of strategic sustain and a strong command of soft and loud — that holds up Radicalfashion (aka Japanese musician Hirohito Ihara) as more than an experimentalist tapping at keys for sound's sake. In tracks like “Suna,” he plays tight, foreshortened figures that start out melodic and gain dramatic airs by way of repetition, like a Steve Reich phase piece with more space to breathe. “Usunubi” ditches the piano altogether for a spell of noisy but delicate electronic tones made to howl at a calming distance. The album is strongest when all the pieces prance around each other, as in “Ballet,” a piano-led track jaunty enough for an old royal ball but lashed into a strange modern shape by little passages of static.