Arbor Vitae, a new split album featuring Osaka’s own Luka Uemura alongside a handful of other artists, can be purchased as an immediate download…AND, if you act quickly enough (first 30) you can also get a “wooden branch USB” version of the album delivered to your home. This nice item (I can picture the Rainforest Cafe people angrily slamming fists against desks, shouting out “why didn’t we think of that!”) also benefits charity. Not to mention the music enclosed on this bark-inspired piece of hardware, highlighted by two Uemura tunes. Both “If She Waved Back” (featuring Affable Noise) and “Udlt” have appeared online in some form or another over the past few months, but here they are as fully formed as ambient music that seems like its imitating an unpredictable stream can get. Especially impressive is the latter track, one opening with harsh metallic buzzing before breaking free from is conveyor-belt vice for a fragile run only slightly bothered by technology of today.
Elsewhere, Sima’s two seven-minute contributions are slowly blooming roses, to the soft evening soundtrack of Sandcastles’ “The Lights That We Saw That Evening Were The Passing Of Distant Trains.” Michael Oldham’s “Furthermost,” though, is the best track on this album, a wistful piano-anchored song that seemingly looks back at peaceful times through a haze. Check it all out here.