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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Nāda Mushin - Mono No Aware [KrysaliSound - 2019]

Much has already been said about the history of the Ambient, but  I feel a brief excursion into the history of this genre is needed for this release. The starting point for the development of the style is considered to be 1978 ‘s Ambient 1: Music for Airports by British artist Brian Eno. However, I believe that the prerequisites for the emergence of this genre appeared much earlier, in the very late 60s and early 70s of the last century, with the development of electronic music. & experimental classical music genre. Over time, Ambient evolved, mixed with other styles of music and divided into a huge number of sub-genres- from classical ambient and dark ambient, onto light dance styles, and rather complex yet still mood focused electronic works.

The wider Italian experimental music secene has always been active and prolific, so it is not surprising that the Ambient genre is quite common among Italian artists. Ambient project Nāda Mushin was founded by musician Paolo Iannantuoni. Unfortunately, I couldn't find much information about the project on Discogs, so I focus in on the discography on the Bandcamp page of the project. Since 2016, Nāda Mushin has recorded twenty-two different releases. The latest album to date Mono No Aware was released by the Italian label KrysaliSound. This album is called  The album was released as a CD, and also in digital format.
 
The album cover is a black and white photo of a flower, on whose petals are drops of frozen water. This is a rather beautiful and contrasting photo - with a light bud surrounded by darkness. The disc cover itself is made in a certain style inherent to the KrysaliSound label - the main artwork is located in the center, and above it, in a white frame that goes along the outline of the cover, is the artist’s name, album title, and label catalog number, made in simple font. Despite the minimalism, the cover has a pretty cozy atmosphere and it's made in the style of previous releases by Nāda Mushin.
 
The album runs for seventy-two minutes and consists of fourteen tracks each of approximately the same length. Nāda Mushin presents us with an extremely atmospheric ambient created with the help of guitars, various electronics, and field recordings. Guitar passages are so processed and distorted by effects that create a sense of atmospheric wall of sound, in which appear the harmonic musical lines. This is the case when both the background and the main instrumental line merge into a single whole. However, sometimes these atmospheric passages are reinforced by rustling or clicking sounds, vaguely reminiscent of the rustling of leaves, birdsong or the sounds of water. All this creates an atmosphere of calm, which is not surprising, given that Nāda Mushin has chosen a line of meditative orientation of creativity based on Zen Buddhism and Hindu practices. However, despite the positive emotions that Mono No Aware aroused in me, I drew attention to several shortcomings. Sometimes the atmosphere of sound becomes too saturated, which leads to mixing initially harmonious notes and turns the sound into a dissonant cacophony. Unfortunately, this problem is not unique to Nāda Mushin, but also in many other ambient projects. The second drawback is, in my opinion, the excessive monotony of the album, even though the tracks, in general, differ in their structure. However, this is also an advantage of the album, because when listening, the division into tracks is lost and the album is perceived as a whole.
 
As a result, we have a very good ambient album. Mono No Aware that has both positives and negatives. This may be because the album is assembled from tracks recorded in the period from 2017 to 2018. That is, this, in fact, could be considered a collection of previously unreleased tracks, the mastering of which was held in 2019. Frankly, I like Nāda Mushin's previous works more. Despite the atmosphere similar to “Mono No Aware”, they are more complex and interesting. However, the new album is a very good example of atmospheric ambient with a small share of Drone, which fans of the genre may well like.

Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5Rating: 3 out of 5

Sergey Pakhomov
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