Flare a.k.a. Ken Ishii
Photo by Natsumi Arakawa
Oh! The ambience!
Earlier this year, Ken Ishii adopted the pseudonym “Flare” for the release of his latest album, “Leaps.” He said it was a way of getting back to the more experimental music he started out with in the late 1980s. So this was also the moniker he used for this Daydreaming set, played on a grassy mountaintop under a blue sky with fluffy white clouds and dragonflies buzzing around in the sunshine.
The music was a kind of perfect soundtrack for this fairly incredible vista and had a bit of everything: light piano chords, chopped up cellos, deep soulful house, big crunchy techno beats and a whole smorgasbord of found sounds cut up into beats. It went from chilled out and ambient to deep and cerebral to fully dance-able.
It looked like he was spinning mainly vinyl, though I also thought I saw him tweaking the CDJs a couple of times. A sizable crowd assembled over the 90 minutes, and many more were perched on the edges of their camp chairs, caught between the urge to move their feet and simply bask in the great tunes and glorious sunshine.