I first met Chihei at the Bellingham Electronic Arts Festival in 2006. It was a heavy snowfall the winter we met in Bellingham, and we spent a few days together with good friends, enjoying the misty seas, views and snow-covered tree dense walks just outside the town.
If you ever meet Chihei, quite possibly the most chilled-out guy I have ever met in my life, you'll be hard-pressed to find out that he is one of the leading voices in ambient music, not just in Japan, but the world. He is completely unassuming and a joy to work with. He regularly performs live, puts on events and collaborates with many artists. We were thrilled when he agreed to do a release with us back in 2010. 'A Long Journey' was met with critical acclaim and really helped to cement our own place in the Japanese market, and Chihei continued his own journey with a series of albums over the next two years. Apart from this, Chihei very kindly reworked a track for the 'Slow Films In Low Light' release in 2010, as well as collaborating with Federico Durand on 'El libro de los árboles mágicos' (which was finally released on Home Normal in June, 2012).
After a bit of a hiatus, Chihei came back with another release on Home Normal. 2012 saw the release of 'Scale Compositions' with the wonderful Asuna, and was again met with critical acclaim, heavily featuring in many end of year lists and rightly regarded as a 'true drone' record. We look very much forward to Chihei's own continued musical journey and what it brings.
This is a video of Chihei performing live at the Bellingham Electronic Arts Festival back in 2006:
Here is a little more information about Chihei Hatakeyama (in English):
Chihei Hatakeyama Is A Sound Artist And Musician Living On The Outskirts Of Tokyo. He Has Performed For Years Under His Given Name And Also As One Half Of The Electroacoustic Duo Opitope, Along With Tomoyoshi Date. Hatakeyama Polychromes Memory-Evoking Soundscapes With Various Recorded Materials Of Electric, Acoustic Instruments Such As Electric Guitars, Vibraphone, And Piano. His Releases Is On Kranky, Room 40, Under The Spire, Hibernate Records, Magic Book Records, Home Nomal, OwnRecords And Spekk (As Opitope).
This is the wonderful video for 'MV' from Chihei's 'Alone By The Sea' release:
Here is a little more information about Chihei Hatakeyama (in Japanese):
1978年生まれ。神奈川県出身。 Chihei Hatakeyamaとしてソロ活動を行う。 電子音楽ユニットOpitope、 佐立努とのLuis Nanook、 ダブ・ロックバンドAll The Frogs Are Our Weekendとしても活動。 独自の楽曲制作の他、 映画などにも楽曲を提供。 2006年にKrankyよりファーストアルバムを リリースし、世界中から何重にも プロセッシングされた楽器音が構築する 美しい音色が評価された。 以後各国のレーベルから積極的に 作品の発表を続けている。
This is a video of Chihei performing live at Shimauma Books, Nagoya, Japan, in 2009:
You can stream, share and buy 'A Long Journey' by Chihei Hatakeyama here:
You can stream, share and buy 'Scale Compositions' by Chihei Hatakeyama & Asuna here:
You can stream, share and buy 'A Film by Chihei Hatakeyama' from the Ian Hawgood album 'Slow Films In Low Light' album here:
You can stream, share and buy the Federico Durand and Chihei Hatakeyama collaboration 'Crisantemo', from Federico's own 'El libro de los árboles mágicos' release, here: