CD, Solstice, 2011
According to his website and the plentiful promotional material about him that is floating on the World Wide Waves, Koji Asano is someone special and something of a prodigy. Up to now he has released 45 albums, 43 of which between 1995 and 2006. Then it became a bit more silent, yet that silence was broken in 2010 with the release of “Galaxies”, and in early 2011 there was “Solstice Eclipse”.
The label he created to release all of his music is called Solstice, but to recognize if “Solstice Eclipse” has a direct link to the label, its ideas, concept, or output I would have to know more about Koji’s music. Because – in all fairness – this is the first time I hear (of) him. But somehow this particular release doesn’t tickle my research genes…
To make a long story short, in the genre of electro-acoustic compositions/drones I have heard more, and much of what I’ve heard was of a higher quality. The CD holds one long track (almost 48 minutes) with a sound spectrum which is quite narrow. It is nowhere said which musical instruments are used as sound sources, but as far as my suspicion goes it must be something string-like, such as guitar.
The sounds are heavily processed and the track has an overall very nice structure. There are no real dull moments and the structures and modulations are impressive enough to listen to the whole composition. But if you reach the end, there is a good chance you will wonder if that was it.
Probably a must-have for his followers, but for newcomers to Koji another option might be a wiser choice. If you still want to try it, get the $3.95 download and not the $24.95 CD. This is a typical case of ‘try-before-you-buy’.
— Bauke van der Wal