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Chihei Hatakeyama is a sound artist, organizer and mastering engineer living in Tokyo. He has performed under his given name for years and also as one half of the electroacoustic duo Opitope, along with Tomoyoshi Date. Hatakeyama got involved in playing music through strumming the electric guitar in a few rock-oriented bands in his teenage years. Subsequently a laptop computer superseded his bands as his main platform. He polychromes memory-evoking soundscapes with various recorded materials of acoustic instruments such as guitars, vibraphone, and piano; mostly played by hand and processed time and time again via laptop. His first album Minima Moralia was commissioned for release by the Chicago-based label kranky in early 2006.
Since then his many albums have been released by Room 40, Under The Spire, Hibernate Records, Magic Book Records, Home Nomal, OwnRecords, Spekk, Dronarivm, Constellation, Tatsu, Glacial Movements Records and his own label White Paddy Mountain, which he founded in 2013. Since then he has released over 40 recordings by some of the most accomplished modern ambient artists, shoegaze and folk musicians in Japan.
In recent years Hatakeyama continued to evolve his sound by analog synthesizer, modular synthesizer and compact guitar effector. He approaches a modular synthesizer and electric guitar drone project with an expectation of new directions.
“Hatakeyama has his own voice. There’s a distance here that develops in part from the music’s deep undercurrent of calm. Weighed against the delicacy and surface-level charm is an odd sense of remove that keeps the music from becoming overly sentimental.” – Pitchfork
“The ambient songs produced by Tokyo musician Chihei Hatakeyama each project a unique spatiotemporal presence; their haziness conjures a memory of being somewhere once, their barely-there melodies bringing forth long-forgotten emotions and thoughts.” – Exclaim!
“There’s a fine line between free-form composition and sonic wallpaper, and Japanese sound artist Chihei Hatakeyama toes it perfectly” – Tiny Mix Tapes