The Italian producer links up with Japanese artists for a distinct take on electronic music.
Taken from the Japanese language, ‘Kodama’ has few meanings. It is usually used to refer to spirits that inhabit trees or the phenomenon of sound making a delayed echoing effect in mountains and valleys. This deep and charming meaning is the title of the collaborative series produced by Equilibrium Lab‘s founder Stefano Lotti and a variety of diverse Japanese pioneer music producers and emerging in electronic music.
The first release of these series is aptly titled as ‘Ichi-wa’, which literally translates to ‘first story’. Here, we find Lotti experimenting with artists that usually do not work in the same genre, thus treading a whole new trail by doing so. For the first single of the EP, Stefano invites Ko Kimura for ‘Ichi-on’. Here, the pair create an absolute blinder of a techno track; one that growls as it intensifies with every passing bar, without ever losing its flair. Big and bold, it certainly sets the tone for what’s in store in ‘Ichi-wa’.
The follow-up, ‘Ni-on’ features Takuya Yamashita, and sets for a deeper course without ever losing the momentum created so far. Heavy on the percussive elements, a breeding ground is created for gorgeous, ethereal synths to slither and meander, as they contrast against the solid backdrop. By the time we reach ‘San-on’, Lotti’s collaboration with DJ Wada, things get acid. Way acid. Hypnotic and groove-driven, ‘San-on’ feels like it has that duality of working both on the dancefloor, and that long train back home as we push our heads against the window and watch life pass by.
Crossing the halfway line, we find ‘Yon-on’, a beautiful piece that features Ken Ishii collaborating with Lotti. Heady and narcotic, ‘Yon-on’ swirls around, creating a mesmerizing vortex of scattery synths that get crushed by the grinding drum work. The last piece to echo around the mountains and valleys, ‘Go-on’, provides an electric finale. Assisted by Anri, here the pair paint a throbbing, pulsating monster that feeds off the tension it creates.
With an eclectic and nomadic feel, ‘Kodama (Ichi-wa)’ is a bundle of creative takes that blur the lines of genres, making it impossible to pin down with clarity. This is a rare quality in electronic music these days, and it’s what makes this release a must-listen.
‘Kodama (Ichi-wa)’ is out now via Equilibrium Lab. You can purchase your copy here.
1. Stefano Lotti & Ko Kimura – Ichi-on (Original Mix)
2. Stefano Lotti & Takuya Yamashita – Ni-on (Original MIx)
3. Stefano Lotti & DJ Wada – San-on (Original Mix)
4. Stefano Lotti & Ken Ishii – Yon-on (Original Mix)
5. Stefano Lotti & Anri – Go-on (Original Mix)