Review: H Takahashi – Body Trip

NAC_3-Panel_JcardTemplate_FRONTThe sounds are the colour of bowling alley candy: E-number shades of blue, pink, red and green. Spheres of all different sizes – some as small as sugar granules, others as big as gobstoppers – glisten and bounce against the surfaces of the room, knocking against eachother and leaping away again. They tumble down staircases and rattle around the back of furniture. Some float wistfully with the aid of helium, others plummet like stones. These balls of electronic sound are everywhere, eternally engaged in hypnotic, chaotic bouts of ricochet. Rhythmically, the record is a frenzy of pings and plops. Harmonically, the record is gorgeously aligned to only the most blissful configurations of major key – the sorts of chords reserved exclusively for Sunday mornings in June, gliding into personal space like the crepuscular rays of late morning coming through the curtains, pressing the duvet gently upon the dozing body.

Pardon the cliché suggestion, but it’s particularly worth mentioning here: use good headphones. Having the bubbles of synthesiser burst inside the mind is surreal and addictive, like water popping out of the ear canal after swimming. Textural Viscosity ranges from liquid goo (the sliding, bending drones of “Quiet”) to brittle toy plastic (the staccato loops of “Metabolism”) and somewhere in between (the cyber-piano plops of “Absorption”). And given the album’s thematic ties to the organic body, this process of internalising the record triggers all sorts of likenesses to the behaviour of microscopic animal cells – the quivers of division, the squishy intimacy of inter-cell osmosis. It’s all here – dozens of individual globules of harmonic happening, all communicating to form the rippling, quivering, singular(ish) self.