Ultra-mellow ambience, tranquil trumpets and downtempo rhythms define “Transmit,” a unique collaboration between two accomplished musicians. Werner Hasler is a self-styled composer and sound seeker, as well as a graduate of the Swiss Jazz School. Sunao Inami founded CAVE Studio in Kobe, Japan, and has built a reputation as a synthesizer specialist. In creating this album, actual collaboration between the artists was surprisingly minimal. Hasler received soundscapes and unfinished material from Inami, which were then used by Hasler in an unrestricted manner – without involving Inami in any further discussion or planning – to create “Transmit.” The result is an intriguing melding of method and talent, and a superior combination of musicianship.
“Transmit” begins with “Boomed 23rd,” setting the album’s tone with head-nodding tribal rhythms later echoed in “Boomed 30th.” Suitable for elegant candlelit dinners and late-night chill-out sessions alike, each track embodies a distinct set of sounds that contribute seamlessly to the thematic whole. “Dasong Ab” has a shivering and diaphanous serenity that contrasts well with the electronic chirps and beeps of “Aprilbong.” The soft and stately progression of “Pancake,” with its slow-build house rhythm, nicely follows the balmy and splashy synth stabs of “M5R2” (a remix from a previous Inami release, “Delayed”). “Junat” presents a nervous, off-kilter beat and small tweaks of sound that in turn introduce the melodic hums and drones of “Onkyo.”
The most distinct characteristic of “Transmit” is the avant-jazz style horns. Performed by Hasler, the bluesy trumpet recordings manifest in a diverse variety, and are used liberally in conjunction with Inami’s cut and looped sounds. In fact, the dreamy, saturating quality of the trumpet notes as they wash over and through the ambient atmospheres and soft, pulsing beats is remarkable. Thus the final synthesis of “Transmit” is astounding in its mysterious sublimity.
— Dutton Hauhart