Light as a feather and colorful as the autumn and spring: the new album of Kuniyuki Takahashi, sometimes known as Koss, is an affair of the heart. It spreads love while revealing that the man from Tokyo is one of the finest Japanese producers at the frontier of classic, jazz, house, ambient, and electronic songwriting. One thing all his artistic expressions have in common: they are loaded with tones and rhythms straight from the heart that filter and modulate human emotions without losing their natural source. Until today he released five full length albums and countless Eps on Mule Musiq. And this with an artistic progression from an electronic producer to a musician that melts organic instruments with electronic sounds while showing his love for free spirited rhythms and bittersweet melodies. He is also a man of collaborations and already worked together with such one off a kind artists like Innervisions jazz house icon Henrik Schwarz .
Under his second nom de plume Koss he also produced beside lots of albums and EPs a jazz infiltrated ambient trip together with the Swedish Minilogue boys Marcus Henriksson and Sebastian Mullaert. His new album features now again guests like Bugge Wesseltoft, Anne Clark, or Henrik Schwarz – just to name a few. They all play with and not for him! A quality that attributes to Kuniyuki’s way of sharing music and to his rich diversified knowledge about it. Because beside his work as a musician he breath sounds all day long and listens to tons of possible musical expression from all decades to keep his consciousnees wide open.
This openess is inscripted in „Feather World“ all over the place. The album opens with „Before Creation“ – a slow ambient intro enriched with a sweet piano phrase, strings, and a clandestine loop driven rhythm. Then comes „Inner Groove“ - a composition in which Norway’s terrific jazz pianist Bugge Wesseltoft jams playful to an airy rhythm arrangement that reminds partly on Herbie Hancocks spiritual „Rain Dance“ and that grooves with a Jaco Pastorius funk bass coolness.
Thereon Kuniyuki travels to Africa, drops an earthly rhythm and let the singer Sona Diabaté from the West African Republic of Guinea hum soulful together with a wild but noble touching African guitar melody. All those who are familiar with Kuniyuki’s work know about his passion for house music made by such heroes like José „Cochise“ Claussell. With the track „Shout“ he assures this love while using electrifying percussion beats that dance around deep melancholic saxophone melodies played by Tetsuro Kawashima, one of Japan’s most famous saxophone players.
That followed the guitar mojo ambient composition „The Big Wall“ which functions like a little bridge that ease the listener before entering the second part of the album. This starts with the dancefloor bomb „The Session 2“ – which Kuniyuki produced with his longtime buddy Henrik Schwarz. A house track full of stirring jazz flute madness and rhodes driven chords that got everything it takes to put a smile on the lips of dancers who like to enjoy jazzy mood experiments.
Subsequent with „Between Shadow and Lights“ he continues to keep his eyes on the dancefloor – this time with a more minimalistic foggy arrangement to which the legendary New Wave spoken word queen Anne Clarke chants with her incompareable androgyn cold chilling voice. It is not that last time that Kuniyuki features extraodinary vocals on „Feather World“. In the very last quite part of the longplayer also Joyce Bowden, known for her heartfelt contribution to the Arthur Russel compilation album „Another Thought“, hums to a folk influenced slow rythmn track that waves the listener a goodbye from a freethinking album to which he will return to forever!