Issued by Noton, “Glass” is a very different record from previous collaborations of Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto. There was always a lot of starkness and coldness to their music; it demanded our attention in its quietest moments and completely took it over in its most aggressive. It was never any wonder that the digital sounds of Alva Noto were uncompromising in this regard, but even the piano of Sakamoto, often played very softly, was mixed in such a way as to make it very forward and clear. It was not devoid of affect, but it always felt alienating to a certain degree.
But, even though, “Glass” has a lot of physicality to it, it’s gentle in the ways in which it fills our space with its presence. It’s a record one loops for the evening and unconsciously forgets about it, only to wonder what is missing when it stops playing.