“ When I started working on the piece in March of 2020, I had only decided to record it in the way I wanted to. The coronavirus was spreading globally, and the situation was gradually changing into something very serious. With no gigs scheduled and hardly seeing anyone, I felt as if my spirit was in a slightly deeper place than usual during the production. I sat down in front of my equipment as if I were dropping a fishing line into a quiet lake. I kept feeling that something new was lurking beneath the water surface. I was trying to catch that something that seemed to be just out of reach, that floated in and out of sight like a speck of smoke. ”
＿Referenced from: Afterword of 7FO「Ran - Bouten」
2021 brings a new album by Osaka electronic musician / producer 7FO. This work is a departure from the recent global ambient / new age approach, and the unique sound aesthetic created using only hardware equipment is a new frontier of 7FO or a return to his origin. "Ran - Bouten" is a new electronic music album with a poetic sensibility using machines.
Discovered by overseas labels such as RVNG intl., Bokeh Versions, and Metron-and with the release that followed EM Records in his hometown Osaka, it's like his personal folk craft that was once quietly played at his own pace. Music has reached listeners around the world. In recent years, he has been touring from a famous performance with Tapes at the Belgian "Meakusma Festival 2019" to a Japan-Korea tour. "Ran - Bouten" was born as a result of facing the sound alone without being asked by anyone to cool down the heat when the steaming and intense experience had settled down. Inside the cool electronic sound like a water bath, you can feel the maker's heart sending hot blood.
Peep into the condensed universe of a home-recorded miniature world that looks like an independent production of unknown age. He was alone in a dark room, making full use of KAWAI's 1990 digital and FM synthesizers , tracing the shape of nature and resonating the micro and macro sound worlds. The Rhythm and melody that continues to the Paradise Pure Land, which floats in a dreamy atmosphere, is the true value of 7FO even without his guitar play.
Mastering by Makoto Oshiro, which supports everything from home listening to club sound systems. Hiroaki Hidaka designed the jacket to make the image of the sound appear cool and friendly everywhere.
“There are few musicians in jazz who can make you feel that essentially all is right in the world.” - The Times
On The Balance:
"Getting the balance just right has always been Ibrahim’s great strength, drawing from a source but keeping it fresh..." - Julian Cowley, The Wire
★★★★★ - The Evening Standard
"A modern master... his graceful playing leans on equal measures of force and restraint, of dense clusters and open space. Mr. Ibrahim’s music is dotted by satisfying, sometimes stunning, passages of repose." - Larry Blumenfeld, Wall Street Journal
Entitled 'The Balance', this project featured his long-time septet Ekaya, a line-up that he's been recording with since 1983. In this case, the album was recorded over the course of one day at London's RAK Studios last November. The lush horn lines, lilting melodies, and uplifting chord progressions are characteristic of Abdullah's own particular brand of Township Jazz. This is contrasted with various solo piano improvisations, which epitomise the nostalgic yet hopeful nature of Abdullah's musical spirit. Hence, The Balance.
In his own words, "We push ourselves out of our comfort zones. So that we can present to the listener our striving for excellence. So that we can engage with our listeners without any barriers of our ego. It's not jazz. For us, it's a process of transcending barriers."