Imagine a crystal sphere cracking apart, not with hard sharp edges, but with soft lines that are cool to the touch. Chie Otomi’s work is alive in the details, but whenever we pull back and take in albums like Touch Again as a whole, the real magic begins to sing. Otomi has become one of my favorite artists in recent years specifically because she brings such creative care to her work in the way she brings new worlds to life within these aural webs.
On Touch Again, the skies shuffle through every shade of the rainbow as tones shift and the sunlight’s angle becomes more obscured. We travel through time on “Floating Things,” visiting places in the distant future that look like nothing we could ever imagine, yet a familiar energy runs through the arteries. Synthetic spirits speak to us long after we’re gone, following with shifting footsteps in the repeating chord arrangements. Otomi’s music is pristine, but the melodic underpinnings are so pure and emotive.
Each step throughout Touch Again is like experiencing the four seasons with the same landscape. The way the sounds interconnect, but change – the aqueous glitches of “What Do You Pray For?” ride the harmonic grace of sonorous synthesizers as autumn changes to winter. “Goodbye my ghost” welcomes the summer harvest as late nights buzz and flicker with fireflies in the distance. Sprawling notes resonate with a delicate shimmer, glassine tones bringing up repressed memories and letting them drift away in the warm breeze.
In the prismatic allure that saturates all of Touch Again, Otomi’s music is like a mirror reflecting all that we feel and know and heightens the return glare to bathe everything in cotton candy bliss. The harshness settles with time and distance, a mix of purple and white flowers obscuring the rocky ledges lining the lost depths within us. Touch Again is a welcoming space; a glow filling empty rooms where solace grows and where the quiet bears miraculous fruit. Chie Otomi has built another beguiling world of depth and wonder.