Nozomu Matsumoto - Immunotherapy - ElMuelle1931

Nozomu Matsumoto - Immunotherapy

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The Death Of Rave / UK / 2022

One-sided violet vinyl edition of 300 copies, including a download of the album dropped to your account. Mastered by Rashad Becker - sounds f incredible. Artwork by Helenskià Collett

A deeply confounding trip into the sublime from master of contextual dream-weaving Nozomu Matsumoto on perhaps his most heart-piercingly beautiful work to date, including a 13 minute choral section that might just be the most stunning piece of pseudo-classical/liturgical alchemy we’ve heard all year. RIYL Kara-Lis Coverdale, Ryan Trecartin or Mica Levi’s ‘Zola’ score.

Leading on from his ’Remain Calm’ album to accompany visual components by regular collaborator Nile Koetting, ‘Immunotherapy’ offers therapeutic solace through a personalised form of Japanese environmental music. A conceptual continuation of themes explored on 2018’s ‘Climatotherapy’ and 2020’s ‘Sustainable Hours’; Nozomu’s 3rd solo vinyl release reprises his uncanny ability to evoke a reflective headspace with a blend of classical ambient tropes, text-to-speech synthesis, and a contemporary cinematic vernacular that’s both nuanced and moving.

In 2022, against the backdrop of global warfare, a pandemic, and ecological collapse, Nozomu’s work grasps the nettle with a sober lucidity to make time and space for his, and your, wellbeing. ‘Immunotherapy’ carefully evokes its own temporality and atmospheric conditions via a grandiose but intimate palette of strings, keys, blissed chorales, and electronic webbing which provide the bed for narration by Amazon’s vocaloid, Polly. The results create an unusual duality - a human/inhuman intimacy rooted in some uncertain semi-robotic near-future that references the original ‘80s era of classic Japanese ambient music, which itself emerged as a soothing response to the headlong rush of a technologically enhanced/enchanted society.

Across six parts in 22 minutes, ‘Immunotherapy’ resolves from the initial inset of a panic attack in public, via passages reflecting on “diseases of affluence” thru to spine freezing synth pads and an extraordinary denouement of emotive Koto and shearing synthesis on ‘Vertigo’ before entering a final state of blissed stasis on that closing 13 minute ‘Filippo Pacini’ section - a haunting ode to the c.19th Italian anatomist that uncannily reminds us of Kara-Lis Coverdale’s collaboration with Yasuaki Shimizu - a sound that feels all-too-human despite it’s synthetic contours.