Cultural Bulletin
Cultural Bulletin is a quarterly magazine that provides an international view of creative work. We look to film, music, design and art as signifiers of our cultural moment.

In Review: Chihei Hatakeyama - Afterimage

Label: White Paddy Mountain


Afterimage is 58 minutes of soothing ambience from Tokyo based ‘sound artist’ Chihei Hatakeyama. The two women on the album artwork inspired the music created here. Hatakeyama had presumably never met them; he found the photograph at an antique store in Istanbul. And, with the title and image given to the listener, he has gently guided us onto a deliberate footpath, one that sets a theme that flows and oscillates within the music: what remains in a memory?

In addition to being deeply relaxing, Hatakeyama’s record has an unmistakable ability to connect you to personal images and reflections. And it is this that makes it so engaging; it allows us to find a nostalgic space - we piece it together with our own experiences. They take form in front of us, from nowhere and without explanation.

Hatakeyama uses piano and guitar within his loops which create soundscapes that could almost be considered ‘ambient dream-pop’. Within the second track, ‘That Morning’, unsung melodies form and break. They hang over it, giving texture and a contemporary feel. There is a slight change when the song from which the record takes its name, ‘Afterimage’, is consumed - it is nearly 20 minutes of hazy synths. The composition is almost allegorical, a representation of the unsettled and elusive nature of a memory. And, like the image that this record was inspired by, it has no words but it is still communicating. TS