Hiroki Takahashi – Paleozoic

Using a complex geological metaphor, Paleozoic presents a series of gorgeous electronic compositions that follow the progression of Earth’s evolutionary stages.

As the title suggests, the central theme of the album is an emotional reimagining of the prehistoric Earth period also known as Paleozoic. With the album, Takahashi offers a sonic reflection on how natural processes within that period can be interpreted within modern times, assigning a deep emotionalaffecttogeologicalprocesses.Thealbum willbeouton vinyland digital with artwork by Barcelona visual artist and designer Alicia Carrera.

With a strong interest in geology and biology, Takahashi started imagining the landscape and life of the Earth in prehistoric times based on fossils and illustrated books, later used as inspiration for his compositions. At firs t sight, these images make it easy to envision the ecosystems and environments of prehistoric Earth as so distinct from those of today that they could almost be seen as different planets. Living through the pandemic, when Takahashi first started composing the songs, made him rethink his initial thoughts.

“The Palaeozoic era was a time of extinction, of prosperity and decline. When I think ab out these facts from geology, they are quite spectacular. But I felt that this cycle is still happening today, b ut on a different scale. If you think about the time before Covid-19, people were very active and free to move around. It was with this in mind that I set about writing the music, imagining what it would be like to overcome the social upheaval of Covid-19.”

It’s the similarities between his initial analogy and the new pandemic reality that ultimately formed the main context for Paleozoic. This led Takahashi to make an album which sonically reflected the sequence of Paleozoic: startingfrom a timewhenlife flourishedinthesea,beforethe arrival of lifeon land, to the gradual arrival of plants and insects on land and the end of an era due to change.

Inordertocreateamorevivid representationofthelifeforceandgrandeurof nature, Takahashi decided to forgo his signature lo-fi production style of using GarageBand on his Iphone. For this, he enlisted the help of sound engineer, producer and Atoris bandmate Kohei Oyamada with the mix and arrangements, resulting in a highly evocative, expansive sound palette.

“With his techno sensibility and sound engineering skills, he was able to bring me closer to the sound I’ve been chasing, which is full of mystery, life and im ages of a wild and sim ple tim e. This record is the first step in m y work with him and the foundation for further progress.”

The result is a fascinating journeythrough imaginarylandscapes infused with great dramatic affect and an acute sense for details across sweeping drones and electronic glistens.

Hiroki Takahashi (b.1986) is an architect and musician who lives and works in Tokyo, Japan. In addition to his architectural work, Takahashi started composing music in 2013 and has released albums on Where to Now?, Not Not Fun Records, White Paddy Mountain among others. He’s also active in the bands Atoris and UNKNOWN ME. His work gained attention by the likes of Fact Magazine and Resident Advisor who praised his iPhone- driven composing techniques. Last year, Takahashi founded his own record store Kanky Records in Tokyo.

Alicia Carrera is a Barcelona/Berlin based visual artist, editorial designer and DJ. Her work includes graphic identities, logotypes, vinyl covers, posters and audiovisual work and is mainly focussed on collages. In addition to her own work, she’s also founded LiO Press imprint and co-runs the label Maga Circe Musica. She worked with Dekmantel, Ombra Festival, Sonar+D, Lyl Radio among others.


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