Takashi Toyoda’s Big Bang promises in the back cover “total spiritual stability and stress relief” through 40-odd minutes of Japanese New Age music. What really stands out, though, is the word “BIG BANG” in the album title. Attempting to provide some respite from a stark external world, Takashi tries to create the first 1/f fluctuation or alpha wave music to do so. Thankfully, all the bad pink noise one expects out of modern YouTube-based pseudo-healing music doesn’t make its appearance here. What makes an appearance is Takashi’s overwhelming sense of dense musical space. One that has rooted those ideas into genuinely captivating musical ideas.
Floating electronics meet Takashi’s multi-talented layering of violin, electric bass, flute, oboe and guitar. Percussion is kept at a minimum, and if it’s used, usually, it’s electronic/synthetic and quite subsonic. Somewhere someone makes the case that this album was done while Takashi was investigating what kinds of songs can be created by studying the results electroencephalograph – a machine to measure brain electrical activity. Released on his own label, Sound Of Tranquility, Big Bang affords Takashi the ability to get away from Kitaro-like New Age synth fiestas and to really get at the root of personal, sonic exploration.
Ultra-slippery, cavernous grooves like those found in “Sea” that equally cleanse as move the mind (and the unconscious booty) clearly pinpoint the meditative qualities of Takashi’s study. Similar to Akira Ito’s (a person who he aided during his own recordings) idea of holistic, synthetically-tuned music Big Bang is powerfully pure in a way that only can be met when the organic meets the inorganic. “Solar System”, something on the flip side, serves as a perfect distillation of the meaning in the chaos Takashi tries to softly guide us to, musically.
If you’re stuck in water music mode for a bit, with all that’s going on, after listening to this, who can blame you?