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Beauty #2: Tamaru: "Figure"

img  Tobias

The cover to Yui Onodera's „Entropy“, the second release on new, Tokyo-based label Trumn, invited listeners to imagine themselves wandering a heavenly, dream-like Japanese mountainside. The artwork congenially complemented the sounds contained within the packaging, revealing a hidden narrative behind what could easily have been mistaken for mere abstractions. Even though it came clad in the same oversized digipack of Onodera's effort, „Figure“ by Solo-Bass Sound Artist Tamaru, is, thematically at least, an entirely different proposition.

Matching the unreal, hazy mood of the music, the cover is a six-panel collage of grey and white imagery. Clearly discernible objects („figures“) are obscured by a thin luminescent fog. All forms are draped in an extreme kind of blinding light, which strangely has the effect of creating nocturnal sensations. To Tamaru, it seems, the process of playing the bass is one which leads within, straight to the places where it hurts the most. As he puts it in the liner notes: „10 years have passed since I received my Bass Guitar. When I think about it now, it would have been nice to do a personal performance ceremony commemorating this anniversary. But I had completely forgotten about the date and therefore it never occurred to me. The years pass in such a cruel manner“.

The crew from the Kitchen Label, very much into artbooks and luxurious packaging themselves, sign responsible for the art direction of the album. Just like their design, the quality of the cardboard used for „Figure“ is second to none. Heavy and extremely sturdy, it always feels a little like holding a miniature foldable painting in your hands. Slowly opening it leads you straight to the music – and into a world where darkness and light are nothing but different sides of the same coin.


Pictures by Michael Martinides

Homepage: Trumn Records

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