トリニティー無限大 – ＢＬＵＥ 光
Recommendation: ✂ (“愛しています”)
トリニティー無限大1 is a project from nothing less than the master of slushwave and ambient vaporwave (arguably the founder of at least one of those) himself: telepath. ＢＬＵＥ 光2 is this project’s debut album, released in January 2015 and given a cassette run of 100 by No Problema Tapes a year later. It merges the smooth, repeated samples of earlier telepath releases with the silkier textures of hypnagogic drift music. In contrast to the murkiness of 未来へ or 現実を超えて (both from 2014), ＢＬＵＥ 光 is distinctly soft, with gentle loops that are woven together as a hypnagogic slow-jam groove. Tracks such as “ＤＯＮ＇Ｔ ＬＥＴ ＧＯ” and “愛しています” hinted toward the massive 仮想夢プラザ (Virtual Dream Plaza) project that would begin just a few months after this album’s release, demonstrating telepath’s evolving predilection past slushwave pop mixes toward long and dreamy compositions.
The album’s love themes are more overt than on other releases. Now telepath is no stranger to love,3 but most of those examples of love were understated or otherwise obfuscated. For example, 未来へ had the late night lo-fi mix of KC & the Sunshine Band on “あなたの愛”, which did not have much in the way of intelligible lyrics but was produced as the musical equivalent to a warm embrace. The Japanese song titles directly mentioned love more often (e.g “私はあなたが欲しいんだよ” means “I want you”, from 現実を超えて), but these feelings were still hidden through layers that were metaphorically represented through the choice to use the Japanese language instead of English.
In comparison, ＢＬＵＥ 光 wears its emotions on its sleeve. For one, the song titles are no longer hidden behind Katakana (with a couple exceptions). The listener immediately sees words like “ＬＯＶＥ”, “セックス ＰＡＳＳＩＯＮ”, and “Ｕ＆Ｉ 永遠に” – and those that are as straightforward as “I love you” and “SEX”. The sampled lyrics (when present) are much more audible here than on other releases, with phrases such as “if I had a chance” wafting through the gossamer. Similarly, the refrain “I just want to stand here close to you” rings out for several of the nearly eight minutes of runtime on “ＣＬＯＳＥ２Ｕ”. The R&B and adult contemporary sources are given center-stage this time when usually such a role would be taken by swirly production and blurred percussion – although both still make an appearance on “ＳＯＭＥＴＩＭＥＳ”. The love themes are brought out so blatantly on this album that there could be cries of irony if telepath’s reputation were not already established. At the end of it all, ＢＬＵＥ 光 is like telepath’s version of a late night soul album, where by love and all of its intense vagueries are expressed with a wistfulness only experienced after midnight.
A few tracks could have been cut or shortened. The line on which telepath’s longer compositions dance is a thin one. Most of the time, the length increases the songs’ surreal textures and adds to the dreamy, hazy milieu in which they reside – as is excellently demonstrated in the 仮想夢プラザ project. Other times, they’re just long, and instead of becoming furniture music for lovers, they become a guest that hangs around after the party past the point of social acceptability. Eight-minute “ＣＬＯＳＥ２Ｕ” has this issue and thirteen-minute “ＤＯＮ＇Ｔ ＬＥＴ ＧＯ” almost falls for it, but its infectious groove saves it by the end. They’re decent tracks, but the time stretch feels itself by the time they are over, and their placement at the beginning of the album colors the rest. End track “愛しています” totally nails it though, with its entire nine minutes flowing along as gently as telepath could possibly make.
1. ＤＯＮ＇Ｔ ＬＥＴ ＧＯ – (13:03)
2. ＣＬＯＳＥ２Ｕ – (7:40)
3. セックス ＰＡＳＳＩＯＮ (3:39)4
4. ＨＥＹ – (5:16)
5. ＬＯＶＥ – (2:07)
6. あなたは私を笑顔に – (5:49)5
7. ＳＯＭＥＴＩＭＥＳ – (3:37)
8. ディストピア – (2:58)6
9. Ｕ＆Ｉ 永遠に – (3:43)7
10. 愛しています – (8:49)8
1Japanese translation: “Trinity Infinity”
2Japanese translation: “Blue light”
3I’m so sorry.
4Japanese translation: “Sex (Passion)”
5Japanese translation: “You make me smile”
6Japanese translation: “Dystopia”
7Japanese translation: “(U & I) Forever”
8Japanese translation: “I love you”