The French label says Irezumi, at 21, is «quite possibly the best ambient artist of his generation», which might be justifiable claim: how many ambient artists are there anyway at that age?
Like young Thomas Köner once did, in his first album "Nunatak Gongamur", Irezumi is inspired by the tragedy of the Antartic expedition of Ernest Shackleton. Music-wise there is indeed a bit that refers to the classic Köner album, but Irezumi does things a little bit different. He uses software, synthesizers (analogue or digital), guitars and spoken word samples to generate a densely layered pattern of ambient sensibility that has a strong feeling of chilly air, freedom but also loneliness, a bit like the mountains that are photographed on the cover. A few persons walking up mountain, among lots of rocks and snow. Dark but not too dark. Grey sky with a touch of blue - that kind of feeling is what comes of this release. The voice samples that of a low voice, which reminded me of the KLF's "ChillOut" (when did I last hear that - makes note here to listen again) and music wise the Space album out of the same KLF home. None of the rhythms are apparent. Space is suggested by the extensive use of reverb, which is not always something I like very much, but Irezumi keeps things neatly under control.
Like said, the best ambient artist of his generation might be a claim to soon; it's a fine idea to keep ears open for whatever else he has to offer, but as a start, yes! "Endurance" is a very mature sounding CD and makes a perfect start.
[CD by Snow Blood]
Frans de Waard / Vital Weekly