erasing clouds

Slowly Minute, Tomorrow World

reviewed by dave heaton

Like Tomorrow World's executive producer Nobukazu Takemura, Takahiro Chiba, aka Slowly Minute, makes playful yet innovative music that displays the imagination of a child and a scientist's ability to meld disparate elements into one (in this case electronics and acoustic instruments become one creature). But Chiba's musical world, generally speaking, replaces harsh juxtapositions with lush and comforting, yet still surprising ones. To be plain about it, Tomorrow World starts off feeling like a small painting or poem and ends up more like an epic. Its 70 minutes take listeners on quite an adventure.

The first track on Tomorrow World is titled "The song of the sun in autumn's holiday - Where are you now...? I'm under the sun, tomorrow can be seen from there..." And the rest of the titles follow suit, with poetic riffs on nature, infatuation and daydreaming. The music is right there with the titles, basking in afternoon light and drifting from pop lullabies to erratic sunshine jazz and back. Tracks like "minutes made! A 'design' is not a form" sound like Henry Mancini covering the Boredoms' Vision Creation Newsun, while soft, dreamy numbers like "happy birth & sweet blue..." would make the perfect soundtrack for a version of Waking Life for newborns.

Slowly Minute comes off all at once like a warped jazz trio, a sleepwalking DJ duo and a composer and arranger with a taste for children's music...but what you're hearing is the mind of one man. It's an absolutely spellbinding album, a roadmap to a fantasy world that's filled with eccentric and unique sonic creatures.


Issue 26, September 2004

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