A Powerful Presence Felt by Cuts in 'Time Is Not Your Friend'

Anthony Tombling Jr a.k.a. Cuts delivers another harrowing track from his album ‘A Gradual Decline’ which dropped last month on Village Green Records. Cuts is an audio-visual project commenting on the environmental concerns facing us today. We explored the importance of music like this in our most recent review of the title track from the album. As to say for ‘Time Is Not Your Friend’ is very much in the same vein as ‘A Gradual Decline’, although slightly lighter in tone it still plays with the same kind of earnest and urgency. 

Tombling unapologetically lays down a perpetuating melody of distorted organs and synths that build in intensity until around the three minute mark. Then the drums kick in, giving us again some sharp percussion and textures to drive home the sense of a jagged landscape that Tombling has curated throughout the musical and visual elements in ‘A Gradual Decline’. Again Anthony drives home a message of prescience and purpose while lifting us up in the most epic fashion. If you are a fan of cinematic music with a real message at it’s core then Cuts is very much worth putting on your radar. 

Catch more of Cuts here:

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The magical world of Masakatsu Takagi

While many features on our blog are about up and coming musicians, part-timers, or those looking for a break, Masakatsu Takagi is very much a professional musician. While not a household name by any stretch, those interested in anime will have no doubt heard Takagi's work before. He has been a frequent collaborator with Mamoru Hosoda and has scored his highly acclaimed animation films, Wolf Children (2012), The Boy and the Beast (2015) and this year's Mirai (2018), which has already garnered rave reviews both in Japan and around the world.

The film was recently released in America through GKIDS. The soundtrack which contains our featured track, "Inner Garden" was released the same day by Milan Records based out of LA. While I haven’t had the chance to watch Mirai yet to comment on how the music harmonizes with the image, from what I've heard of the score, including this whimsical little number "Inner Garden", it more than stands on its own as a beautifully composed, emotional soundtrack.

Masakatsu Takagi has been compared to some great composers like Ryuichi Sakamoto, Goldmund, Philip Glass, Alexandra Streliski and more, but his work really stands on its own. There's a magical quality to his compositions. There’s a feeling of being in touch with nature, a simplicity, free of noise and clutter.

Our featured track, "Inner Garden" is a wonderful example of Takagi's talent and contains rich instrumentation ranging from delicate piano flutters, to chimes, wood blocks, strings and more. There's an Asian feeling to the tune, leaning towards Buddhism or Shintoism, as bells, blocks, chimes and a feeling of serenity loom throughout. There's almost a cyclical feeling emoted, which I'm sure has to do with themes in the film as, Mirai deals with a young boy travelling through time to meet his relatives from different generations.

The soundtrack to Mirai was recently released and comes highly recommended to fans of animation music, soundtracks, classical music and piano music. This is a piece of art everyone should really discover. It's a chance to shut off the noise of the world for a bit and be transported to a magical world created by Masakatsu Takagi.

Animation fans make sure to catch Mirai, especially if it's playing a theater near you. For the rest of us, if “Inner Garden” has piqued your interest, make sure to check out Masakatsu Takagi's other art, both in audio and visual form on the following platforms below:

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