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Minamo & Asuna - Tail of Diffraction [12k - 2022]

Longtime collaborators and friends, Minamo (aka Keiichi Sugimoto & Tetsuro Yasunaga) and Asuna , teamed up for a blissed-out ride through slowly building tracks featuring a combination of electro and acoustic instrumentation. 

The smoothness of Tail of Diffraction belies the set-up for the release, in which Minamo and Asuna each swapped their usual source materials – guitars, synths, and toy pianos – with one another, though judging by the results, you’d never know. Diffraction is traditionally a process that refers to the spreading of a light source, and the metaphor in sonic terms is equally appt, each of the six tracks moving like a waveform out across a durational horizon. Is Tail in the title a play on words, a homonym for tale; or, are we hearing the last stretch of some ambient form before it sweeps and transforms itself?     

It continues to amaze how accomplished composition and well-tuned mixing can sound so effortless, as if the work on Tail of Diffraction were always there – no hard-boiled intentionality or virtuoso mingling. The last track, “Fatigue of Yellow Sweets”, features guest vocals by Reiko Seizo, which, I assume, was meant to set the album down on the ambient wonderland just described. To me, the addition of a human voice rather interrupted an otherwise seamless soundscape, but that’s just one reviewer’s opinion. Either way, this beautifully arranged and measured release will appeal to savants as well as newcomers, who enjoy ambient of the delicate and sanguine variety.

Tail of Diffraction indeed rings toward hopefulness and a still but sunny atmosphere, a meditative, insular sonic territory we all might feel like visiting.  If this sounds of interest drop in here

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Colin Lang
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