The first physical release from Unperceived Records, Take, Run, Lookback is a lovely way to launch the line. A beautiful blue still photo graces the cover of the mini CD, lodged in a handmade paper sleeve. To use the obvious line, Unperceived is now perceived.
This short yet endearing set comes from the Japanese duo Kakurenbo (Hide and Seek). True to its name, the duo likes to hide little treasures within their recordings: droplets on “Yasugara”, the sea in “Tayutau”, toy piano and ukulele throughout. Billed as ambient, the duo might also be considered electronic, especially given the stuttering beeps and bleats of key track “Dokoka”. The inner pace may be slow, but the outer pace is swift, a heart of waltz with a nod to glitch. The sounds wander from speaker to speaker like the sheets of rain shown on the cover. The storm dances in the cracks between the bells, birds, and beats, appearing only when the other sounds subside. A string motif enters in the final half-minute, suggesting an even longer track; but the piece prefers to pass like a spring shower. The sun emerges on “Sayonara”, shining down on children at play, completing the sonic souvenir.
The implied topic of the EP is childhood; this is, after all, a small, brightly-colored mini CD that looks like a toy, incorporates the sound of children, and is produced by an artist named after a childhood game. While nostalgic themes are common in ambient music, this particular release communicates a sense of joy akin to a short recess break. Out go the children to play on the jungle gym. It’s raining, but they don’t mind. A few stay in the foyer, hitting metal triangles with sticks. Metal meets water to form the soundtrack to the day. (Richard Allen)