Review of Ocean Fire [12k1046]

Spike Magazine (US)

In this, Grammy award-winning piano soloist Ryuichi Sakamoto hooked up with newcomer guitar experimentalist Christopher Willits in one-take improvisations bent on soundtracking the ocean world. A mainframe’s worth of processing later, it’s emerged as a man-made Songs of the Humpback Whale, gently menacing jaunts into unknown, alien environs, notes held forever whilst being modulated at unhurried leviathan paces. More than anything it’s a headphone experience and thus not unhesitatingly recommended for an intro meditation class, as it’s cumbered just a bit too often with nerve-rattling glitch-static from Willits’ guitar. Those sounds, however, can be gotten used to; I can’t say for certain, but the duo certainly must have stumbled upon a few theta-wave-inducing combinations as they tried to stare each other down. “Sentience” would appear to have been inspired by the alien-encounter scene in The Abyss, a downward-spiraling set of notes that eventually bursts into a slo-mo revelation both eerie and soothing.

View Release