REVIEW: Calm - "Free-Soil Sounds For Moonage"

By Marcus Pan

Chain Border

Nettwerk America brings across the ocean the collected works of Kiyotaka Fukagawa. Performing as Calm, Fukagawa has an impressive listing of previous releases and credits prior to Nettwerk's release of Sounds For Moonage. Beginning composing to satisfy the need to express his identity, he began in Tokyo in the Shibuya district, slowly encompassing the clubs and venues with his strains.

1996 saw the release of the Pure Sand EP, the first of Calm. Following years showed increasing and incremented activity which culminated in the 2002 release of Sounds For Moonage on Nettwerk America. Additionally, compilation appearances on jazz, soundscape and other collections.

Free-Soil Sounds for MoonageCalm's music is truly soothing, adding a lot of weight to the performing moniker. Slowly mixing jazz, new wave and even bossa nova rhythm styles and accompaniaments, Kiyotaka creates stunning compositions. Outstanding piano melodies, smoothe movements and calming effects combine to create blissful music. I've done many things to the background of Calm from painting to writing. It makes for wonderful meditation listening as well.

Highlights on the Free-Soil CD include the live version of Light Years. This track includes one of the simplest yet beautiful piano melodies I've heard in a while. Even if Light Years seemed to run a little long, the track itself is superbly crafted and moves enough to keep it from dragging. Midnight Sun meanwhile has an unchanged bass groove and percussion, around which is bent a web of solo instruments, synth bells and pianos.

Dubbing for the Nature #2, another CD highlight, mixes up jazzy rhythms, throws in some backing soundwaves and adds a female vocalist who doesn't say anything in particular - yet seems to speak to your heart. Brass rounds out the ensemble to give it punch and panache.

Overall the CD takes on a feel of a jazz jam session - mixed up with enough modern age ambient to keep it refreshing. Creating what some are beginning to call "nu-jazz," Kiyotaka Fukagawa, aka Calm, will soothe your soul.

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Buy Free-Soil Sounds for Moonage

Contact Information:
Post: Nettwerk America, 8730 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 304, Beverly Hills, CA, 90211
Phone: (310) 855-0643
Fax: (310) 855-0658

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