Buy at Sweep Records
WORLDNAUT, a combination of “World” and “Astronaut” was the first album released by Hiroto Saitoh’s personal record label. Featuring a variety of styles, it is a diverse album, but does it convey Saitoh’s wishes of being unrestrained when it comes to composition?
The first theme, “Amusement Promenade” serves as a fitting opening track. Although it is the shortest, I find it one of the most interesting, mainly due to the fusion of classic arcade sounds, chit-chat, and jazz influences. It sets the tone for being unrestrained by a classical approach to music composition. “Visions from China” is a fantastic fusion of classic Asian influences, jazz stylings, and house beats. I particularly enjoy the random spoken aspects featured throughout the music and how the Asian instrumentation helps bridge the various jazz sections. It features a superb melody and the overall atmosphere is a ton of fun.
“Hikari,” featuring vocals by Nima, has a lounge jazz atmosphere. It features a stunning melody and Nima’s vocals have a bit of a mysterious touch to them. The fusion of the lounge jazz sound and some subtle electronic accompaniment and sound effects really brings a nice uniqueness to the piece. In particular, I think the piano, which mirrors the vocal melody really helps the piece stand out. “Embrace,” another song featuring vocals by Nima, also continiues with the lounge jazz soundscape. The melody is another stunning one and there is a bit more, although slight, focus on electronic and ambient accompaniment.
“Fast Tide” is one of my favorites. It is an energetic, upbeat jazz/techno piece with a fantastic atmosphere. The more melodic sections, when present, feature some great synth sounds with a jazz air about them. “Last Lagoon” is one of the themes from Power DoLLS. I’s got a very jazzy soundscape with some interesting drumpad and bass guitar work. I’m a really big fan of the jazz piano runs that are featured as the piece progresses. It’s got a real vibrant atmosphere! Lastly, “Latino” closes the album and features a chorus from Nima. It’s an upbeat jazz theme with some great brass accents, some keyboard work, and an exotic flavor, a mix of Latin and French influences, in my opinion. It’s a nice way to close the album.
In the end, Hiroto Saitoh’s first solo album is quite successful. It bridges multiple styles and genres of music into an entertaining listen. The jazz focus is really nice and really stands out among many of the solo albums that feature a plethora of other genres. In the end, this album is definitely worth a purchase and I think that Hiroto Saitoh accomplished his goal of creating an unrestrained album and really defined his style (as stated in our interview) as one of the leading jazz oriented composers in the industry.
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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Don Kotowski. Last modified on August 1, 2012.