Music Reviews

Artist: Koji Maruyama
Title: comune
Format: Download Only (MP3 only)
Label: Mimi (@)
Though Comune is woefully short, it stands up to multiple listens and fills this listener with childhood storybook wonderment. “Op.344” is a lot like Keith Jarret's early work, paradoxically sparse and full, assertive, a magic tune. With its cheery wind instrument opening melody, “Uzume” follows it with cascading piano that practically pans a wondrous anime landscape that would do Hayao Miyazaki proud. A minute-long song, it is a well-crafted, compact diamond at that. “Aoi Hasu” opens with slow rhythmic piano that slowly gains momentum as the song progresses, a train departing a station, then picking up speed as additional piano melodies are joined by strings, chimes and wind instruments that inspire visions of pastoral landscapes. A billowing, dreamy wistfulness with a melancholic lining wafts over the track like smoke from a locomotive. “Venice” is a live recording and no less beautiful, and evokes the music of Joe Hisaishi's piano music, but taps into more complicated, intangible moods rather than just the drama of an anime soundtrack. Playful, mellifluous, wistfully melancholic with fleeting moments of joy and yearning, Koji Maruyama's Comune is one of the gems in the trove of

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