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Feather World


Light as a feather and colorful as the autumn and spring, the new album from Kuniyuki Takahashi, sometimes known as Koss, is an affair of the heart. It spreads love while revealing that the man from Tokyo is one of the finest Japanese producers at the frontier of classic, jazz, house, ambient, and electronic songwriting. One thing all his artistic expressions have in common: they are loaded with tones and rhythms that filter and modulate human emotions without losing their natural source. He has released five full-length albums and countless EPs on Mule Musiq, progressing from an electronic producer to a musician that melts organic instruments with electronic sounds while showing his love for free-spirited rhythms and bittersweet melodies. He has also worked together with such one-of-a-kind artists like Innervisions jazz house icon Henrik Schwarz. As Koss, he's produced numerous albums and EPs, including a jazz-infiltrated ambient trip together with Minilogue boys Marcus Henriksson and Sebastian Mullaert. This album features guests like Bugge Wesseltoft, Anne Clark, and Henrik Schwarz -- just to name a few. The album opens with "Before Creation" -- a slow ambient intro enriched with sweet piano phrases, strings, and a clandestine, loop-driven rhythm. Then comes "Inner Groove," a composition in which Norway's terrific jazz pianist Bugge Wesseltoft jams to an airy rhythm arrangement that recall's Herbie Hancock's spiritual "Rain Dance." After that, Kuniyuki travels to Africa and drops an earthly rhythm for singer Sona Diabaté, who is from the West African Republic of Guinea. They hum soulfully together with a wild but noble African guitar melody. With the track "Shout" he uses electrifying percussion beats that dance around deep melancholic saxophone melodies played by Tetsuro Kawashima, one of Japan's most famous saxophone players. That's followed the guitar mojo ambient composition "The Big Wall," which functions like a little bridge that eases the listener before entering the second part of the album. This starts with the dancefloor bomb "The Session 2," which Kuniyuki produced with his long-time buddy Henrik Schwarz. A house track full of stirring jazz flute madness and Rhodes chords that have everything it takes to put a smile on the lips of dancers. Next is "Between Shadow and Lights," with legendary new wave spoken-word queen Anne Clarke, who chants with her incomparable and androgynous voice. Joyce Bowden also contributes her voice to the album. She hums to a folk-influenced rhythm track that waves goodbye to the listener.