Tokyo Bedroom Orchestra - Ima
Released: November 3
Not wanting to let the spark fizzle, Japanese producer Tokyo Bedroom Orchestra released his fourth full length album earlier this month, Ima. The album seamlessly blends field recordings, ambient pads, and lo-fi inspired beats into a relaxing little side-quest of a listen. What I particularly loved about the order of the tracks here is that the album starts out as an almost purely ambient album. Field recordings of rain, storms, birds, and other somewhat discernible pieces of nature coordinate with soft keys and lilting pads to create dreamlike aural environments. Gentle and relaxing compositions that could equally fit for unwinding and studiously processing. This is predominately what we experience for the first half of the album
Once we pass the halfway point, "Densya" brings in the chill rhythms along with a bit of wonky synth bloops. The rhythm sits far back enough that it doesn't take over the mix but always lets its presence be known with a bit of lo-fi influence and a heavy helping of experimentation as it plays with the bloops that surround it. For the next two tracks, TBO lets the rhythm section more prominently dictate the direction of the tracks, which brings me to what is probably my favorite track on the album, "Sakura." It is a slightly deceptive track as it begins with an inkling that this could be a return to the purely ambient nature of the first half, until the deep kicks and a lonely woodblock jump in. But it really takes form once the indiscernible voices come into the mix. Absolutely wonderful.