So Takahashi 30/30


30 minutes of audio for 30 empty rooms; this is the theme of So Takhashi’s new 30/30 cd for carpark. Given 30 photos of empty or unused rooms, So has playfully constructed narrative and memory within. The photos, taken by Fumiko Nozawa, were displayed in galleries and clubs throughout North America and Europe as the 30 minute audio piece played out. As the exhibit is no longer available for viewing, Carpark thought the best way to have a more permanent artifact of this experience was to release the audio on a CD with the 30 photos in a CD booklet.

In the audio, ideas appear and disappear just as humans and other animals enter and leave a room. Not quite happy to remain out of a space, an idea will return later in the piece tampered or with additional data about it. Though So Takahashi has firmly placed his own audio interpretation on these rooms, he still leaves quite a bit to the participant. The piece can be listened to on its own or while perusing the photos. More to the point, the photos can be looked at in a number of different ways and orders. Listen and hear voices talking, crickets chirping, maybe even the hum of a heater or air conditioning unit.

So has taken the rigorous and humorous elements noticeable on his Nubus release (Carpark 3) and given them a new visual dimension with 30/30. New possibilities appear with each additional listen. Our motto for 30/30 is “try it again for the first time.”

Artist Bio

On Nubu:

Lotus Magazine – (spring 2000) The debut album by Yokohama native/New York resident So Takahashi sounds a bit like a compilation of different artists—and that’s a compliment. While some techno experimentalists spend entire recordings obsessing on a single stylistic theme—often yielding tedious results—Takahashi employs a nice range of moods and timbres, making Nubus a continually intriguing and surprising listen. While this variety will no doubt lure listeners back again and again, it’s Takahashi’s unique, minimalistic melodicism and deft production that will capture their attention in the first place. Combining elements of Coil, Autechre, Hafler Trio and countless others, Takahashi’s palette covers everything from nouveau ambience to noise deconstruction, 1970s experimental film music and techno bleepiness. If the artist’s masterful sample manipulation and sparkling use of found sounds are the building blocks of his work, it’s his outstanding sense of pacing and composition that holds it all together. We may very well be following So Takahashi’s work for decades to come, so jump aboard now.

Lotus rating: 8

— Al Ritchie

On 30/30: A cool release of constantly evolving experimental electronica that shifts back and forth from raster-noton-style or ryoji ikeda-style minimalism to a denser electronica sound then eventually to a more percussive experimental techno sound in one long track. Another solid experimental release from So Takahashi. Fans of Nobuzku Takemura, Ryoji Ikeda, Terre Thaemlitz, Taylor Deupree, Frank Bretschneider, and Noto should give this one a listen.

— Lance


1. 30/30