ambient ambient classical contemporary classical electronica piano review

Koki Nakano – Soft Sculptures Review

Artistic triumphant piano for the fashion runway

What does Koki Nakano sound like?

Piano based contemporary classical musings chopped up and glitched out.

The review of Koki Nakano – Soft Sculptures

Never a composer to shy away from something artistically leftfield, Koki Nakano’s latest EP stems from a collaboration with fashion design label Issey Miyake. The designer of the brand Satoshi Kondo invited Koki to compose music for the catwalk showcase and Nakano took inspiration from sculptures to create the soundtrack.

‘Soft Sculptures’ is the EP, a 2 track release with the 14-minute ‘Torso / Assemblage’ being the bulk of the release. Here Koki Nakano opens the track with digitally manipulated piano notes drawn out into ambient pads and high-pitched whines before more ethereal cloudy synths take over. Water gurgles and odd percussive trickles shape the music as a machine coming to life as string, xylophone and bells ring out. By halfway, kick drums and kaleidoscopic cello string bends and glass shimmers blur the line between electronic ambience and contemporary classical but it’s also where the piano kicks in. Koki Nakano thrives in abstract and spasmodic melodies. As the track picks up momentum and flavour, it blossoms into its last four minutes of permanently down tuning organs and synths.

photo of Koki Nakano
Koki Nakano

Whilst ‘Torso / Assemblage’ is all about the slow build and slow release, ‘Infinite Column’ is all in. It’s a glitchy and triumphant piano riff that hop-skips to victory only to recoil back to its origins. Nothing sits perfectly in its melodic bar and so it feels skittish and unhinged in a good way. Fans of Koki Nakano’s recent two studio albums ‘Oceanic Feeling’ and ‘Pre-Choreographed’ will feel right at home here.

Whilst hearing the music with the full fashion show is lovely, I think ‘Soft Sculptures’ works perfectly fine standalone too. It rewards a more patient listener and I’d recommend starting with ‘Oceanic Feeling‘ first for new starters to Koki Nakano’s exquisite piano chops. This is an excellent addition to his output though.

Recommended track: Torso / Assemblage

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Koki Nakano - Soft Sculptures



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