Mark Barrott has steadily built himself a reputation as one of the most reliable voices in Electronic music, from his Balearic work (this writer particularly heartily recommends Sketches from an Island 3) to more Ambient-leaning projects, he always offers a warm bed of sound.
However, his new album takes the artist in a new direction, even for one so prolific and consistent. It began when a director contacted him, asking him to work on music to score a film, Jōhatsu… the art of Evaporation. As you may now, standing out in a world pervaded by hopelessness, Japan is perhaps known more than any country for, quite simply, the disappeared. People simply vanish, estimated in numbers at 100,000 a year. People driven by depression or shame – or simply losing a job – vanish into the ether within the country. Some commit suicide, but others simply seem to disappear into the woodwork, altering their lives to such an extent that they’re never found. There are even those that pay companies to assist in their assured total erasure.
The film followed a man as he did exactly this, paying a contractor to help him move from his native Kyoto to Scandinavia. It’s here that Barrott began to find influence, watching shots of the storied city at night time, and it’s fitting that “Kyoto (京都)” is the first track shared from his new project.
Also viewing rural scenes of the country, all this resulted in what’s likely Barrott’s most meditative work to date, exploring the sights and sounds of both traditional and modern Japan. It resulted in music that is at once Ambient in nature, yet bristles with life and a spontaneous energy.
Check out the gorgeous video for “Kyoto” below, and look out for Jōhatsu come April 17th via Reflections.