MoM019 - V/A - Ambient Waves from Niigata (Experimental Rooms)

MoM019 - V/A - Ambient Waves from Niigata (Experimental Rooms)


Ambient Waves From Niigata can now be felt globally thanks to Experimental Rooms' ear-opening compilation. Commend is happy to welcome the album as the nineteenth entry in our Music of the Moment series.

Experimental Rooms is a label founded to bring together talented people to collaborate on a project celebrating Niigata, a sea-facing city in Japan. Niigata in Kanji can be translated as 新 “new,” 潟 “lagoon,” and 市 “city,” three eternal themes explored widely within Ambient Waves From Niigata

Imagine snow-tipped Echigo Mountain with its collision of clouds. Imagine the fiery glint of the sun, viewed through a hazy lens, meeting the stillness of the sea, and wide expanses of rice fields dotted with solitary lagoons. Those images provide the environmental framework of the collected works, which all meditate on the notion of “ambient."

Showcasing the musical viewpoints of ten local luminaries, each artist explores ambient music as both a genre and a subjective state of being in place. Together, they form a web of connections between different generations and artistic backgrounds. There is an overlapping sensitivity to detail in the various artists' offerings, where electronic innovation, delightful use of unexpected instruments and the natural beauty of the voice unite to illustrate place and perspective.

Glitching drones soar into soul-clearing chants, then pool into rhythmic trance patterns mimicking water tracing through seashells. Sacred tones coalesce for an ethereal-meets-earthly listening experience, a compilation where metallic grittiness and environmental sounds embrace harmoniously. Warm rose gold vocal vibrations (via Tokio Hasegawa's resonant voice) place the listener in their own transcendent sonic cloud, light and airy. Melodious pop strains interweave with shimmering electronics and dissonant, primordial plucks of guitar guide the listener back to earth.

Textural and organic, Ambient Waves from Niigata is a full-on sensorial experience and glimpse into a vital community of musicians and artists. Not only is the music from residents of Niigata, but the album’s design, sound treatment, cover photo and translations were done by Niigata’s music community as well.