Midori Takada

Minimalism and ambient music developed from the simple piano of Erik Satie, to the more avant-garde work of Terry Riley or John Cage. They moved from fringes to mainstream respectability, or at most airport lounges. The best-known names are mostly male and mainly from west. Midori Takada is a Japanese composer and percussionist who has released a series of remarkable records since the 1980s. Her interlocking patterns are often referred to as minimalism. Her rich textures and atmospherics often remind one of Brian Eno’s ambient music. She created her own sound through all of it. Let’s all head to the chill-out room. Ambient music is back! Read more Takada was part the Mkwaju Ensemble. This group consisted of Takada, Junko Arase, Junko Sadanari and Hideki Matsutake. They released two dynamite records (Mkwaju) on the Better Days label in Japan. Their hypnotic music is influenced by Terry Riley and various forms of African drumming (the term “mkwaju”), which comes from Swahili. Their music sometimes sounds like early techno. This may be due to Matsutake’s involvement, who is best known for his work with Logic System and as a secret member of Yellow Magic Orchestra. The first Mkwaju Ensemble album could be mixed into a modern DJ set. Takada began a solo career. Her stunning debut Through the Looking Glass, which was released in Japan in 1983 has been a cherished treasure for collectors. Original pressings can fetch as high as $750 on Discogs. Her albums have been difficult to find for years. Through the Looking Glass is now available again, thanks to a new reissue. From www.theguardian.com

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