[sic] Magazine

[.que] – And Inside

[.que] – And Inside

[.que] is the solo project of multi-instrumentalist Nao Kakimoto, based in Tokyo, Japan. Since 2010 he has released ten albums and many EPs and singles on labels such as Schole, IntroDuCing! and his own Embrace. He has also composed music for films, television commercials, websites and exhibitions. And Inside is his second release for the specialist label, Sound In Silence – yes they of the hand numbered, collectible, limited-edition releases. Regular visitors to [sic] Mag who enjoy their ambient, IDM and dreamier post- rock would do well to bookmark this label as their releases consistently please.

What hits the listener immediately is the albums warmth. And Inside is an inviting, happy soundscape, a perfect tonic for these troubled times. Guitars are to the fore on opening piece ‘Return’. I’m reminded of Vini Reilly’s Durutti Column project on this track. The rest of the record hovers between guitars and piano. Titles such as ‘Haze’, ‘Sepia’ and ‘Thaw’ are pointers in of themselves. This is introspective stuff, but far from depressive. ‘Sepia’ is a particular highlight. Guitars make their comeback on this one and there’s a sense of joyful innocence. If epic45 scored a Studio Ghibli film it might sound something like this. ‘Nothing’ has a melancholic, Parisian vibe but it’s about as sad as this record gets. The rest twinkles breezily away weaving its way into your heart.

And Inside might well be the most incongruous 35 minutes you’ll spend this summer. You’ll go back to it often, I’m sure.

Check out the urgent ‘Inside’, below.