In August, Later
Sounds harmoniously chiming closer, a vision of a peaceful life,
warmth and sunlight, sheer light flooding huge expanses of land
and sea. Bells appear to be dominating at first, but they quickly
intermingle with vertically pulsating chords, putting even the
most stressed-out mind to rest. This music is so anti-aggressive
that it’s almost too good to be true. On ‘Little Song a Little
Time’ the composer is all but arriving at a singular take on
pop music: There are traces of guitar, a sweet and delicate
voice, utterly pure and clean, so fragile yet filled with strength,
self-confidence, beauty and a touch of melancholy.
Melancholy, too, is the word best used to describe the overall
feeling and programmatics of „Light in August, Later“. It is
all over the work, even when sophisticated drumbeats are invading
the scene with sporadic mayhem. It seems as though someone were
writing sweet and ambitious songs and then reducing them to
their naked essence. The result amounts to a powerful display
of minimalist manoeuvres. As part of a process of drastic reduction,
Yasuhiko Fukuzono allows his music to be swept away, like a
dreamer in the stage of awakening, still aware of his nocturnal
explorations, clutching at straws in an attempt of retracing
This concept is taken to its extremes on ‘Open’. Here, the voices
of two young women play a carefully arranged game with electronics
emanating from the deepest emotions, consciousness and pureness
a human being is capable of. One follows the track's development
in a state of complete surprise and quiet enthusiasm. As always,
the music dissolves in the end, this time into slight disharmonic
melodies. They are fading with gentle ease, just strong enough
to wake the listener up without shocking him too much with reality.
Speaking about reality: This is another word of seminal importance
to this remarkable work, because Fukuzono may seem to avoid
reality as much as possible, but in fact always uses it as a
gauge against the perfection of his own dream world. In this
sense, again, it certainly is a reflection of pop music, with
its tendencies of placing a layer of sweetness and innocence
over life. Pop music, however, doesn’t make the effort of differentiating
and refining its premises on a musical level. In pop music,
everything stays candy coloured and undisputed until the bittersweet
end. On „Light in August, Later“, we are experiencing something
entirely different. The tenderness of the music is always tested
against the harshness of the outside world. And while one is
treated to the most beautiful sounds imaginable, there is always
the unmistakable anticipation that things may go the wrong way,
towards disappointment, pain and suffering. Without any doubt
the music on ‘Light in August, Later’ really is a dream and
it doesn’t disguise its purpose one bit.
Yasuhiko Fukuzono is one of Japans most impressive young artists.
Yes, I copied that from the press release. And why shouldn’t
I? It’s the truth.
a strangely isolated place
Beautiful new album by Aus. Tinkering piano’s, the odd glitch,
distorted ambient textures and even a little lullaby.
For those who like Ulrich Schnauss’ remix of ‘Halo’, ‘Light
in August, Later’ should be next on your list.
Here’s one of my favourites from the album, Urum. I love the
suspense created by the piano dropped amongst a high pitch texture,
about 5 minutes in…
This, I believe, is the ninth full-length album that Tokyo’s
Yasuhiko Fukuzono has released since 2004, but this young composer
has somehow managed to balance his voluminous output with an
unwavering elegance and painstaking meticulousness. The glitchy
pastoral ambience of Light in August, Later is certainly nothing
new, but it is nevertheless done quite well…a bit too well,
actually. While technically flawless, there are too few cracks
to allow very much emotion to seep in.
The eight pieces comprising this album are all very much of
a hushed and shimmering piece, as the languorous spell begun
with “Different Sky” continues unbroken for its duration. It
is very difficult to tell exactly which instruments Fukuzono
is employing most of the time, as the source material is often
laptopped into an amorphous, soft-focus haze. Occasionally,
some sparse acoustic guitar, crackling field recordings, or
fragile piano will appear, but the backbone of the album is
its omnipresent bed of warm, quavering drones. That, of course,
is perfectly fine by me, as the inability to distinguish individual
elements serves the pervading hypnotic tranquility quite well.
Unfortunately, the corresponding sacrifice is that many of the
songs lack distinct personalities. While Yasuhiko’s understated
amniotic soundscapes are always quite pleasant, they are also
a bit bloodless and sterile and rarely leave a lingering memory
To his credit, aus seems well aware of this and has attempted
to break up the album with pieces that could be considered actual
songs, albeit without departing very much from his gentle, sleepy
template. For this, he enlisted the dubious aid of Japanese
vocalist Cokiyu. I am decidedly not a fan of her Sigur Ros-esque
vocals, as they are too meek and characterless for me, merely
sounding like yet another heavily processed instrument. However,
they seem to have inexplicably had an invigorating effect on
Fukuzono, as the vocal pieces are some of the most overtly melodic
and human on the album (particularly “Little Song at Little
Time,” which actually features a beat and a distinct crescendo
The album does not truly come alive until the end, however.
The penultimate track (“Remnant”) features some welcome feedback
and sizzle that hint that aus is capable of something a bit
deeper. Unexpectedly, he then promptly delivers that depth with
the epic closer “A World of Dazzle,” which stands out (alone,
sadly) as a truly stirring and beautiful piece. While still
characteristically slow-moving, fragile, and melancholic, it
diverges from its predecessors by delivering strong and memorable
melodies, a gritty underlying crackle, subtly oscillating dissonance,
digitally mangled piano, and snaking, intertwining violins that
snowball in intensity and emotion resonance.
Fukuzono can certainly whip up an impressive slow-burning intensity
when sets his mind to it, but it occurred far too seldom on
Light in August, Later to make me a fan. The raw material of
a formidable artist is certainly evident, but aus will need
to smash quite a few more holes in his protective wall of austere
perfectionism to realize that potential.
With his latest aus collection Light In August, Later, Tokyo-based
composer Yasuhiko Fukuzono conjures a natural-sounding electro-acoustic
world that's closer in spirit to a becalmed oasis than an untamed
forest. As a result, the album's expansive, sun-dappled evocations
prove far more seductive than threatening. Though Fukuzono's
joined by Viennese musician Glim (Andreas Berger) on a couple
of pieces and Cokiyu on others, it's ultimately an aus project
in its fullest form.
The equally pretty and calming forty-minute album starts prettily
with a sparkling drone prelude (“Different Sky”) that suggests
a magical woodland setting before the picturesque soundscape
“Urum” appears to evoke a tranquil outdoors locale teeming with
processed flickers and softly glimmering static; during the
piece, melodic fragments embed themselves within a blanket of
shimmering textures and sparse guitar plucks and gentle piano
tinkles punctuate the ambiance. While there's a clear unity
of mood, there's also variety. In “Later,” bright piano droplets
cascade amidst atmospheric electronic processing and choir-like
tones; in “Pool,” a deep vinyl groove and a fireplace crackle
while treated pianos burble and acoustic guitars resound; and
in “Remnant,” gentle electronic slivers interweave with reverberant
piano patterns. Adding to the serenading mood is Cokiyu whose
gentle voice graces “Opened,” itself already lullaby-like due
to its softly sparkling electric piano playing. In the lovely
“A World of Dazzle,” blurry piano tinkling and elegantly exhaling
string tones swim through a thick base of ripples and static.
In fact, “A World of Dazzle” might be the most perfect title
aus ever conjured, as it's not just the title of the album's
last song but a succinct characterization of his music in general.
Listening to the album, one could be excused for thinking that
aus's primary goal is to coax the listener into a mesmerized
Malgré un rythme de production toujours aussi impressionnant
(un album par an, sans compter les disques compilant des sorties
précédentes et les albums de remixes), aus continue de livrer
des longs-formats passionnants, dans lesquels son electronica
fait souvent merveille, qu’elle soit instrumentale ou accompagnée
Pour ce Light In August, Later paraissant sur le label australien
Someone Good, c’est majoritairement la première veine que poursuit
Yasuhiko Fukuzono avec ce qu’il faut de lignes mélodiques tremblotantes
ou d’incursions de micro-larsens (Urum), d’impressions onirico-poétiques
(sensation d’être bien au chaud à l’intérieur tandis qu’il neige
dehors dans Pool, granulosité des composants électroniques contre
clarté des notes de piano et cordes dans A World Of Dazzle).
Sur les morceaux chantés, notamment par Cokiyu, jeune Japonaise
maintenant bien habituée des disques d’aus, ce dernier convoque
aussi une guitare acoustique dialoguant idéalement avec des
petites rythmiques (Little Song At Little Time) ou un piano
à la fragile sensibilité (Opened). Également convié comme invité,
Glim (cet artiste autrichien dont ces pages ont déjà mentionné
les sorties solo), confère, sur les deux morceaux où il est
présent (Later et Remnant), une touche un peu plus acérée que
sur le reste de l’album, bousculant légèrement cette délicatesse
qui caractérise par ailleurs la musique de Yasuhiko Fukuzono.
What is it about the 'Light In August' exactly that seems to
be so capturing the imagination of ambient composer types at
the moment? Only very recently, Danny Norbury released his magnificent
debut solo album, titled Light In August, and now along comes
Tokyo-based electronic musician Aus with a recording called
Light In August, Later. Is this the unofficial sequel? If not,
what is it about this most luminous of months that's so inspiring
to the ears of these artists? While they're likely to enjoy
a similar sort of listenership, Aus's glitch-speckled pastorals
take a very different slant on reclined home listening to the
string-based drama of Norbury's music. Using digitised drone
signals and disassembled acoustic phrasings Yasuhiko Fukuzono
(the producer behind the Aus moniker) stitches together delicate
ambient miniatures - here you'll encounter skipping guitar tones,
high frequency crackle, lyrical piano tinkerings and on the
rather poppy 'Little Song At Little Time', a sighing lullaby
(complete with vocals) that's reminiscent of classic Remote
Viewer recordings or Kristín Anna Valtýsdóttir era Múm. A delightful
and varied collection of electronic song works that's destined
to further enhance the reputation of this consistently enthralling
Another Japanese composer is Aus who we always do really well
with. This is probably down to him being hugely adept at creating
warm, brittle ambient flecked music with absorbing glitch &
minimal post-rock shades. 'Light In August, Later' features
the shimmer of soft drones, melancholy piano plinking, somnolent
passages of drift & hushed static, the gentle crunching
& crackling of organic sounding laptop glitch & some
charming meandering acoustic guitar topped with mellow vocals
which results in a swaying take on classic melodic "indietronica"
moods (gah, thought we'd killed that phrase!!). There's many
familiar themes on this downtempo album, the merging of gentle
organic & synthetic musics to create a very pleasant sound
world. Digipak CD innit.
Behind aus is Yasuhiko Fukuzono and 'After All' is
his sixth CD, but I believe the first one I heard. The fact
that it is released by Flau, his label now, might give you can
indication of what to expect. Music that I don't know a word
for, which of course is always fine. Popmusic? Sure. Ambient?
Why not? Technoish? Also. Dreampop? Also. Soft, not too outspoken,
with bells tinkling, sweet female voices, backwards piano, a
guitar. Music for a modern living room. Played with great skill,
but at the same time also with the naivety of children. Partly
reminding of some of the music of say Expanding Records, but
without much less rhythm. Some of the vocals of course hark
back to say Portishead or Antenna, but they too are a minority
here. I think I could do without the remixes of Motoro Faam,
Ametsub and The World On Higher Downs. They are all nice, bring
the material in a slightly different perspective, but then also
seem to break down the gentle flow of the album. The eight Aus
tracks would have made a great pop record, with exactly the
right length. If you liked The Boats release, previously on
Flau, then aus is also your man. (FdW)
Yasuhiko Fukuzonos neues Album als Aus ist die geballte
Ladung Kollaboration. Sylvain Chauveau, Craig Tattersall von
The Remote Viewer, Lindsay Anderson von L'Altra, Glim, Cokiyu,
Mondii ... alle arbeiten auf die eine oder andere Weise an diesem
neuen Album mit. Manchmal profitieren die Elektronika-Tracks
davon, manchmal nicht. Wenn nicht, dann liegt es vielleicht
auch an mir, denn ich kann diese gehauchten japanischen Mädchen-Vocals
einfach nicht mehr hören, das ist vorbei, durch, erledigt. Und
auch die Makro-Samples, die uns noch vor ein paar Jahren zu
Luftsprüngen veranlasst haben, holen mich heute nicht mehr von
der Couch. Dann aber geht mit anderen Tracks plötzlich die Sonne
auf und eine neue, unerwartete Lichtung tut sich auf und alles
Not only is Aus a supremely good electronic artist,
he’s also the boss of Flau which is something to be awfully
proud of I reckon. Putting together a roster of artists and
catalogue of releases of this calibre is to be applauded and
it’s only right that he takes centre stage for this simply lovely
album. Using a slightly less crispy electronic sound than you
might be used to this is full of organic textures and well structured
and arranged songs. I say songs for a reason as Aus has added
in a subtly more vocal element than before and this really plays
to the strengths of the music. From the first track which sounds
remarkably like David Sylvian singing (although I know it isn’t)
through to playful and breathy female vocals each plays its
own part in completing and rounding out the music. And it’s
that variety in the sounds that makes it so satisfying once
again. From retro electronica to a more contemporary minimalist
sound and pretty much everything in between, this is a seriously
gorgeous sounding work. Added to that there is a series of remixes
at the end from Motoro Faam (stunning mix I have to say), World
On Higher Downs and Ametsub to finish the album off. Lovely
stuff and something that fans of melodic electronica would do
well to check out immediately.
The cinematic, electronic soundscapes heard on After
All, originally written by Yasuhiko Fukuzone (a.k.a. aus) between
2000 and 2002, were taken out of the closet, dusted off and
spiffed up with additional recordings and some delicate warbling.
Known mainly for instrumental soundtracks to experimental films,
aus has stepped out of the comfort zone by adding vocals and
venturing into the glitchy, indie-electronic domain shared with
the likes of Matmos, Múm, and Efterklang. Successfully combining
the fine art of contemporary ambient electronica techniques
with neo-classical piano and strings, environmental sounds,
and even elements of jazz, into delicate, crackly and multi-textured
Aus plays it smart though by enlisting the help of guest vocalists,
most notably Cokiyu. With a crystalline voice and fairy-tale
like delivery, Cokiyu adds an emotionally humanistic aura to
the subtley shifting wallpaper of electronics, keyboard loops
and squelchy sonic textures.
The slow-paced compositions take their time in captivating the
listener as they develop tunefully with soft rolling percussion
and tranquil melodies. They are kept interesting with the waxing
and waning layers of ambient orchestral minimalism (via piano
and violin), meditative harmonies, hypnotic organic sounds,
skittery electronics and of course the entrancing voices.
The occasional mis-step of meandering along aimlessly with a
bit of over zealous knob twiddling, although never too abrasive,
should not keep this release from garnering the attention of
ambient electronic music fans and providing endless hours of
Recommended If You Like (RIYL): Múm, Björk, Matmos, Aoki Takamasa/Tujiko
Noriko and Efterklang
After All, Yasuhiko Fukuzono's sixth full-length release
under the aus moniker, finds the Tokyo, Japan-based producer
and flau head emphasizing vocals to a greater degree than ever
before and doing so with a number of choice guests, including
Sylvain Chauveau, Craig Tattersall (The Remote Viewer, The Boats),
Lindsay Anderson (L'altra), Andreas Berger (glim), and Cokiyu
(the release is also topped up with remixes by The World on
Higher Downs, Motoro Faam, and Ametsub). Though Fukuzono garnered
deserved acclaim for his 2005 Lang release (Preco) and its subsequent
remix companion (featuring contributions from Ulrich Schnauss,
Manual, Telefon Tel Aviv's Joshua Eustis, Kettel, Isan, etc.)
and 2007's Curveland (Moteer), the new, hour-long release represents
a significant step forward for his aus project.
If one didn't know better, one would assume it to be David Sylvain,
not Sylvain Chauveau, wryly musing throughout the atmospheric
“Water Paintings.” In contrast to that rather downtrodden opening,
the tracks that follow are more in line with the uplifting electro-acoustic
style one associates with aus. In “Vertigo,” Cokiyu's delicate
voice rides an animated wave of glitch-laden electronics and
beat patterns that are both downtempo and rambunctious. Here
and on the two songs that follow, Cokiyu's warm and humanizing
presence proves to be the perfect complement to aus's intricate
tone paintings. A soaring vocal melody, mirrored by equally
appealing keyboard melodies, elevates “IHI,” while “Closed”
opts for a softer ballad style in its vocal and melodic aspects
and insistent propulsion in its beat programming. Memorable
too, “Waltz” features Lindsay Anderson lending her serenading
voice to the song's bluesy sparkle.
Though they naturally exude less immediate personality than
the vocal pieces, the album's instrumentals are strong too,
whether it's a paradisiacal ambient setting (“Autoland”) or
an uptempo beat programming exercise in soul-jazz (“Fake Five”).
With Tattersall participating, it's no huge surprise that “Lovers”
slows the tempo considerably but the track's delicate weave
of strings, music box, electric piano, and electronics is nevertheless
lovely. On the remix front, piano and strings cartwheel through
the oft-agitated Motoro Faam makeover of “Hero of the Paper
Boy,” and strings and billowing atmosphere dominate The World
On Higher Downs' ambient-styled “Urum” treatment. Fukuzono's
sophisticated electronic pop has always been distinguished by
its attention to detail and its exquisite sound design but After
All pushes those qualities to a higher level, in large part
due to the humanizing effect the vocal dimension brings to the
Following up on Moteer's release of the Curveland
album back in 2007, After All provides us with another opportunity
to immerse ourselves in Yasuhiko Kukuzono's distinctive brand
of electronic micro-pop. The opening track, 'Water Paintings'
is instantly striking, teaming Kukuzono with the talents of
the Spekk label's Mondii (supplying additional production) and
Sylvain Chauveau, who brings lyrics and a vocal to the piece,
sounding uncannily like a Gallic David Sylvian. Returning us
to more familiar territory, pieces like 'Vertigo' typify the
kind of pop music Aus strives to make, combining muffled electronic
melodies, whispered vocals and even a bit of light orchestration
submerged in the mix. 'IHI' is another success, its minuscule
beats and lighter than air vocal colouring the whole production
with the influence of Bjork's Vespertine album - particularly
the two Thomas Knak contributions to that record, 'Cocoon' and
'Undo'. 'Lovers' continues to channel an Icelandic influence,
tapping into Mùm's 'Green Grass Of Tunnel' with its subtle use
of strings and chiming music box, while 'Waltz', a jazzy, downbeat
piece, features vocals and lyrics from Lindsay Anderson (almost
certainly not the deceased British new wave film director of
the same name) lifting the album out of its introverted origins
with some slushy, trip hop-style drumming. Highly recommended.
Japanese artist Aus AKA Yasuhiko Fukuzono has a new
album out on his very own Flau label. After All begins with
'Water Paintings' which features Sylvain Chauveau on vocals.
His vocal is deep and dark, almost gothic. Then the second track
has a vocal (from Cokiyu I think) which is a really stark contrast.
It's feminine, delicate and ghostly. Very pretty sounding which
compliments Aus's sounds perfectly. Phil has just asked me if
there is a name flying around for this pretty, twinkly electronica
coming out of Japan. I've not heard one but I'm sure someone
will put a tag on it at some point. So I dare say if you like
the stuff on Flau and Schole then you'll like this. There are
a lot more vocals on here than I was expecting but they're pleasant
enough. The album includes collaberations from Craig Tattersall
(The Remote Viewer / The Boats), Lindsay Anderson (L'altra),Andreas
Berger (glim), Cokiyu, Geskia and Yukiko Okamoto. A very gentle
and soothing album reminding us at time of Bjork and Mum.
the milk factory
The lines traced between After All, Yasuhiko Fukuzono’s
sixth full-length effort, and his previous works are distant
and intimate at once. The album is indeed leagues away from
the staggering beat patterns and temperamental pulses that sparked
a wealth of variation in the homemade blueprints of past recordings
now arrogated to the archives.
After All is no longer predominantly instrumental, but a thoroughly
vocal-based work, which raises little melodic buds from the
underlying networks of piano and computer. At the same time,
intimacy is shared between the two periods inasmuch as the crafty
yet elegant programming remains. It hasn’t been re-elected as
the works first principle, but then neither has it been extirpated
or even subjugated to the now more gallant organic instrumentation.
Rather, it enjoys them thoroughly. It absorbs them in a sublime,
freeform constellation on Fake Five, finds a complement in them
on IHI, and relishes their opposition during Lovers.
By no means does the album want for outside help. In sum, Sylvain
Chauveau, Cokiyu, Andreas Berger, Lindsay Anderson (L’altra),
and Craig Tattersall (The Remote Viewers, The Boats, etc) lend
their aural signatures to the proceedings. Confounding expectation,
the move doesn’t result in pieces careening between disparate
styles. The album sidesteps the weariness that would likely
befall such a feature, instead maintaining a continuity based
on a certain flair for integrating emotionally compelling fragments
into fairly conventional structures. In many places, Vertigo
being one of them, the collaborators inclusion thus stands as
a vibrant color that splashes out from within the piece and
causes the others to vibrate ever so slowly. Only in the odd
place does easy pastiche rear its head. In most every other
way, After All is both a fine expansion and reduction of Fukuzono’s
Depuis l’album paru il y a deux ans sur Moteer, aus
n’a pas, loin s’en faut, été inactif : une compilation reprenant
ses sorties sur U-Cover CDr limited et un album de remixes ont
ainsi paru en 2008 sur Preco. Ce n’est pourtant qu’avec ce nouveau
véritable long-format, que sort son propre label flau, qu’on
retrouve Yasuhiko Fukuzono en ces pages pour un disque sur lequel
le Japonais a convié plusieurs musiciens.
Précisément, dès le titre d’ouverture, Sylvain Chauveau opère
au chant avant d’être relayé pour les trois morceaux suivants
par la jeune Cokiyu (déjà présente sur Curveland), les chanteurs
intervenant sur des compositions electronica assez classiques
: bribes de sons synthétiques et apparition régulière d’instruments
réels. Si l’on est de coutume assez sceptique face aux disques
« à invités » et aux albums présentant une electronica chantée,
After All bat en brèche ces a priori en ne réduisant pas la
partie instrumentale à un simple rôle d’accompagnement. À ce
titre, les cliquetis de IHI démontrent qu’il est parfaitement
possible de mener de front ces deux prétentions. A contrario
cependant, Waltz voit Lindsay Anderson (chanteuse de L’Altra)
s’égarer dans un post-trip-hop lorgnant scandaleusement, et
avec une facilité douteuse, sur Portishead (atmosphère générale,
voix traînante, jusqu’aux paroles elles-mêmes).
Au-delà de la satisfaction précédemment constatée, on relèvera
également la richesse de titres comme Fake Five (étonnamment,
le seul où aus est l’unique intervenant), savoureuse incursion
vers une forme de post-rock électronisé (guitare déliée, rythmique
bien présente), ou Lovers, variation électronique passant, grâce
à la participation de Craig Tattersall (de The Remote Viewer
et The Boats), d’ambiances délicates à des passages plus syncopés.
Tout aussi riches (cordes, strates superposées, circonvolutions
multiples) et ambitieux, les trois remixes placés en fin d’album
permettent à Motoro Faam de s’attaquer à Hero Of The Paper Boy
(trouvé sur l’un des CDr évoqués plus haut) tandis qu’Ametsub
et The World On Higher Downs s’emparent de morceaux encore inédits
afin de clôturer en beauté After All, album consolidant la position
d’aus dans le paysage musical électronique.
Le moins que l'on puisse dire c'est qu'on l'attendait
ce cher David Sylvian !" C'est peu dire que la ressemblance
est étonnante pour ce morceau d'accueil en compagnie de Sylvain
Chauveau . Le sixième album de Yasuhiko Fukuzono commence apr
cette particularité avant de fondre vers la collaboration de
Tujiko Noriko et d'Aoki Takamasa. Les mosaïques électroniques
sont taillées avec finesse et exactitude. Les angles sont arrondis
et la charpente est aux normes d'une électronique se faisant
plus lisse pour un résultat plus proche d'Agf que des premières
productions de Tujiko. Rythmiques lunaires et bleeps flottants,
les mélodies évidentes se plient à la volonté d'y laisser rentrer
les voix ; précieux refuge intimiste pour une électronica se
voulant chaleureuse. Artiste rêveur, il démultiplie choeurs
et changements de ton en prenant le temps de faire évoluer ses
compositions en pop songs langoureuses et vaporeuses. Une combinaison
vers laquelle beaucoup (trop) d'artistes se sont orientés. Les
implosions aléatoires s'effacent peu à peu au profit de rythmique
et sonorités simples et évidentes, comme sur "Fake Five"
où la batterie down tempo (ninja tune) se fait beaucoup plus
présente . Car voilà la surprise, après un début d'album 100%
électronique , les morceaux suivants se voir,t agrémentéd d'une
rythmique solide, d'une basse ronde, de voix soul, procurant
une chaleur inédite sur les terres parfois gelées de l'électronique
initiale. On pense alors à Lamb
Le japonais aus, que l'on ne peut définitivement pas
taxer de nombriliste eu égard à son vaste intérêt pour la scène
musicale (en attestent ses multiples collaborations et travaux
de remix à double sens, la gestion de son label flaü), affiche
sur son nouvel album un carton d'invitation assez impressionnant.
Si chacun des intervenants imprime sa marque de fabrique, contribuant
ainsi à nuancer la palette musicale, les composantes de cette
dernière se trouvent soudées par une délicatesse commune.
Sur l'inaugural Water paintings, le timbre pénétrant de Sylvain
Chauveau s'insinue dans un doux corpus de samples aquatiques,
textures liquéfiées, arpèges de guitare et notes éparses de
piano. S'ensuit un triptyque aux tonalités très nippones et
numérisées, enrichi de la voix de poupée de Cokiyu, évoquant
immanquablement l'électro-pop rêvasseuse de Piana, à ceci près
que les rythmiques sont ici un peu plus mordantes et vives,
toujours situées dans de hautes tessitures (glitchs et picotements
digitaux occupent une large place).
Arythmique, étiré et très volatil, Autoland s'agrémente de boîtes
à musique scintillantes et d'un tapis douillet de cordes, marquant
par là même un glissement en douceur vers quelque chose de plus
organique, en l'occurence Fake Five. Affublé d'un pareil nom,
difficile de ne pas envisager ce titre comme un clin d'oeil
dissimulé au Take Five de Dave Brubeck, et d'autant plus crédible
que les couleurs jazzy y sont nettes (un sample vinylique de
piano très cosy) et les rythmiques sophistiquées, mêlant sonorités
réalistes et programmations épileptiques dignes de Telefon Tel
Aviv époque Farenheit fair enough. De jazz il est aussi question
sur cette Waltz doucement chaloupée, où la voix romantique de
Lindsay Anderson vient se confronter à des accents trip-hop
(on pense vaguement au Glorybox de Portishead), et à un trio
jazz de bar enfumé soumis à des déconstructions numériques.
Moins loquace mais assurément le plus admirable des titres,
Lovers a un pedigree qui ne trompe pas : on y retrouve la patte
The Remote Viewer à son zénith, au détour d'une longue plage
mélancolique bâtie sur un engrenage fragile et émotif de boîtes
à musique, piano électrique, guitare frêle et violon vacillant
sur fond de rythmique chétive mais hautement ingénieuse.
Un peu à part, les trois plages suivantes ne sont autres que
des relectures d'anciens morceaux. La première, signée Motoro
Faam, envoie un piano de concertiste tape-à-l'oeil et exhibitionniste
dans un orchestre au format numérisé. Verdict : pas du meilleur
goût. Le piano d'Ametsub, si rouillé et déréglé soit-il, est
beaucoup plus inspiré et délicat au milieu de ce simili-dub
texturé et strié de rythmiques de cyborg. La lourde tâche de
clore le chapitre revient à The World On Higher Downs, lesquels
s'en sortent remarquablement, signant une belle plage ambient
où se croisent lignes synthétiques évasives, notes cristallines
noyées et cordes (é)mouvantes engagées dans un mouvement d'oscillation
et de va-et-vient qui mène à l'égarement.
This really is an absolutely beliting album and it's
seen an awful lot of play round at my gaff. Deep, playful and
beautiful electronica sounds with some wickedly put together
beats. Mellow and chilled for the most part the melodies and
chords are very striking and ease you along with style. Fans
of the other Aus releases will love this and if you've got a
penchant for friendly listening sounds (a la Expanding, Toytronic
or some of the U-Cover releases) this is a must. Really lovely
Antwarps was reared on the stage of youth (Yasuhiko
Fukuzono was all of twenty-one years of age when he wove its
fourteen tracks together, which originally appeared on two limited
cd-r releases from U-Cover), but it’s languorous live-ember
eyes betray a piquancy of maturity in mixing up broad brushstrokes
with the finer details in his music. The album has a solid rhythmic
foundation built from a patchwork of electronic flutter and
scrunch. Fukuzono gravitates towards rhythms which are both
regular and random, which are occasionally interrupted by miniscule
tics and whirrs, and which remain exuberant and unpredictable
throughout, like hiccups that shock upon arrival. As a thick,
gurgling soup of excessive sounds is adumbrated, simple melodies
flit undemonstratively in or around the spacious web of guitar,
keyboard, harmonium, and synths, or else they fight against
its current and have a subtly disorienting effect, without ever
disrupting the grand structures.
It's excellent actually. It's somewhere between melodic electronica,
neo classical, electro acoustic and some other fanciness I can't
think of right now...I think folks who like the old Neo Ouija,
Cactus Island, Moteer etc will greatly enjoy this. But mainly
men with shaved heads and specs.
the sillent ballet
Sometimes a little bit of organization is all you need to move
from good to great. A poorly-organized review is a bad review,
and a mystery novel that doesn't understand at least the basics
of organization is no mystery at all. Poorly organized albums
are almost doomed to fail, but those that show the virtue of
competent organization can overcome basic flaws and shine for
the good points they hold. Aus has taken old material and given
it a fresh face on Antwarps by simply re-mastering and re-organizing
the material. The result is a release that has an entirely different
feel from its main predecessor, Kangaroo Note, and achieves
success where the older release stumbled. A mere shift in organization
has created the perfect introduction to Aus's early body of
work, whetting the audience's appetite for the more contemporary
works of the artist.
The release opens with Kangaroo Note's closer, “Sora,” setting
a more up-beat tone for the release from the first few seconds.
A rising synth progression create an uplifting feel, and when
the break-beat vocals come in, you're bound to fall in love.
Though the track is one of the most fast-paced of the release,
it still serves as a powerful tone-setter, allowing the rest
of the tracks to be perceived through a more optimistic pair
of glasses. It's always nice to see everything just a little
bit more brightly, if only for a change of pace. The tracks
removed from Kangaroo Note were the weakest tracks of the album,
and are replaced by “Fukuso,” “Idle Talk,” and “Ausspiel” from
Aus's second release, Crowding. These tracks do well to supplement
the more optimistic feel of the release, and are prime examples
of the artist's skill behind the monitor. The album as a whole
ends up coming off as pleasantly as some of the most notable
electronic releases of recent memory, like a Japanese Kiln who
decided to drop a few layers of ambiance – always pleasant company
to find yourself in.
...As a whole, Antwarps works as a fine way to re-introduce
Aus's older, limited material to the general public, as well
as shed even more light on the brilliant Japanese electronic
scene. No self-proclaimed fan of instrumental and electronic
music would be hard-pressed to find something to love here,
and there's everything to gain from giving it a shot. The man
can transform a release by merely shifting the organization
− how can you ignore a release with this much potential?
This album includes remixes by Isan, State River Widening,
Epic45, Manual, Dosh, Ulrich Schnauss, Sons Of Magdalene (aka
Joshua Eustis of Telefon Tel Aviv), Kettel, Bracken and the
Remote Viewer and that alone should give you an idea of the
quality here. I must say that Ulrich Schnauss's mix is one of
his best productions for a long, long time in my opinion and,
similarly, the Sons Of Magdalene version just oozes depth and
beauty. I could pick out other tracks, but essentially this
is a really well thought out and put together selection of interpretations.
The originals were great as well, of course. Super album with
lots of lush drifting excellence going on.
The remix of Lang is also a notable effort. Ulrich
Schnauss, Kettel, The Remote Viewer, Manual, and Epic 45, amongst
others, make for a well-chosen clan. They sufficiently vary
the pace of the music - in fact, more so than does Fukuzono
on his lonesome - and break up and charge its sometimes leaden
plod with dramatic eruptions and nebulous interludes. In their
elastic take on the theme material, the players manage a sonic
evocation of place that is oftentimes thoroughly convincing.
The beau geste of the album belongs to Schnauss. Structurally
simple, elemental yet contemporary, his superimposed layers
of synthesizer tones and distant chiming percussion shift in
and out of focus, as spangling guitar and some silvery treble
chirruping lift it up into an infinite sky that is warm, meditative,
and enveloping. At the same time, it’s only one instance in
work dotted with potent, measured performances of this intricately
structured yet compelling music.
Though it's new to these ears, Yasuhiko Fukuzono's aus release
Lang was actually released two years ago but its exquisite brand
of melodic electronica is as fresh as bread straight from the
oven. Being newly introduced to the album isn't such a bad thing
when it coincides with release of the related remix version
whose A-list of contributors includes Ulrich Schnauss, Joshua
Eustis (Telefon Tel Aviv), Manual, Kettel, ISAN, and The Remote
Viewer among others.
Of course one can approach the remix set in two ways: listening
to it on its own terms or playing a comparison game with its
precursor—my preference being the former. The remixers don't
merely remix but re-imagine the originals and the range of styles
and moods is pleasingly broad. Eustis appears under the Sons
of Magdalene moniker to give “Clocks” a thorough ambient makeover
filled with hypnotic lattices of piano, guitar, and synths,
and ISAN's dreamy “Aslope” offers a prototypical example of
the group's refined style. With its clouds of glistening guitars
and keyboards, “Halo” exudes the panoramic sweep that's so much
associated with Ulrich Schnauss's work. Kettlel retains aus's
beat emphasis by grounding the angelic vocalizations and synth
atmospheres in “Double Talk” with driving breakbeats. Manual's
“New Look” overhaul hews to Jonas Munk's epic guitarscaping
style while State River Widening transports “Headphone Girl”
to the center of a spring forest where flutes and acoustic guitars
warm it with sunshine. The heavy beat crunch Dosh (“Beyond the
Curve”) and bass-heavy wobble Bracken (“Moraine”) bring to the
project provide a bold contrast to some of the more restrained
interpretations. A more comprehensive overview of tasteful electronica
would be hard to imagine.
2006 erschien das Album "Lang", jetzt legt das Label
Remixe nach. Kettel, Ulrich Schnauss, The Remote Viewer, Isan,
Manual, Bracken, State River Widening, Epic45, Sons Of Magdalene,
Dosh sind alle sehr nah dran an den Originalen, mischen ihre
eigenen Visionen mit denen der Band und erschaffen hier ein
ganz wundervolles Elektronika-Album, dass in seiner Oldschooligkeit
fast schon erschütternd ist und doch funktioniert, als hätten
wir gerade die Jahrtausendwende hinter uns gebracht. Weich und
verknurschpelt, freundlich und sanft wuseln die Tracks durch
den Kosmos. Hier gibt es keine Ecken und keine Kanten, hier
sitzt einfach ein wohliger Sound auf dem anderen. Gute Zeiten
werden einfach nicht schlecht.
the sillent ballet
It’s always been very weird critiquing remix albums, because
generally speaking, the record maintains a certain lack of
substance that the original may have contained and is therefore
destined only to be replaced by a re-working in the eyes of
each of the remixers. What I’m really commentating on here
is that, for exceptional artists that fall under the general
caliber of blokes like aus, record labels or simply a group
of musicians really need to grow out of the norm that is the
standard remix album. Meaning that, instead of simply dropping
tracks by a few artists and calling it a day, the effort should
be of a collaborative nature rather then that of a singular
one, which basically seems to be the common practice nowadays.
Thankfully for Lang Remixed (and us), Preco is precisely the
label on which the original album was released. As a result,
aus’ work is treated in the most respectable fashion, and Preco
have generated a group of several top notch remixers -- from
the well respected Ulrich Schnauss to three former members of
the group Hood. With a couple exceptions, there isn’t a track
here that feels cheap or under/overproduced. This in itself
is an excellent trait that several similar projects are very
much without. To say the least, many other labels would highly
benefit from taking a few notes here. And thus, we would reap
the rewards as well – the reward of an original and stellar
piece of work. Naturally though, we’ll just have to make do
for now… which won’t too hard for this album...
In conclusion, while there perhaps isn’t a drastic new approach
to the remix album here, the little things like having the tracklist
in the same order as aus’ original work, as well as the extraordinary
effort exhibited from of all of the artists, sets it apart from
other works that have received far more bashful treatment.
And sometimes, that’s all it really takes.
lost in autin
the brilliant record label moteer recently released japanese
artist yasuhiko fukuzono's curveland. operating as aus, this
23 year old gorgeously crafts his tracks out of nimble and soft
blips, dusty beeps, and atmospheric synthesizers, creating panoramic,
audible scenes of utter tranquility. were mu´m less pastoral
in their own compositions, this album could fairly easily be
compared to finally we are no one. but alas, where that album
drew its beauty from homespun charm, this album attracts the
listener with a more electronic allure. highly recommended,
and, i'm beginning to think moteer can do no wrong.
The Moteer label make a welcome return for 2007 and their
first release of the year ranks as one of their finest yet.
Japanese artist Yasuhiko Fukuzono delivers a beautiful ten-tracker
of sugary, vocal-coated electronics under the guise of Aus.
An ethereal, ghost-like vocal courtesy of Cokiyu remains a large
part of Curveland's rustic charm - adding an otherwordly feel
to the intricate layers of deep, mesmering clicks and frosty
synths. While on paper this may sound like the kind of material
Mum produce, only one song entitled Microhouse shares a similar
feel thanks to the elf-like nature of the singing. The rest
of the vocal tracks remain distinctive and devoid of comparisions.
But it's not just the vocal-led pieces where Curveland shines;
take the opening number Lied for example, with it's underlying
choppy percussive clicks, dusty piano notes and windswept chimes.
It's the kind of warm, organic electronica we've come to love
from Expanding Records. Pui Pui looks back to the deep rhythmic
clicks and cuts of Dub Tractor and Opiate, yet the beat-free
affair of Apt is the most striking ambient track of the year.
With Curveland, Aus has crafted an album full of rich depths
and textures, while evoking vast amounts of emotion. It's also
an album you'll undoubtedly find yourself looking into on repeated
Derrière un piano dès l'âge de
4 ans, Yasuhiko Fukuzono a très vite compris à
quoi il était destiné. Aujourd'hui âgé
de seulement 23 ans, ce natif de Tokyo surprend par le contenu
de son CV : 6 BO de films réalisés par Takafumi
Tsuchiya, la gestion d'un label fraîchement né
(Flau, inauguré par la double compilation Echod) et déjà
5 albums si l'on inclut ce récent Curveland, qui n'a
pas laissé indifférentes les oreilles du brillant
label Moteer. L'occasion pour la maison anglaise de japoniser
un peu son catalogue sans pour autant chambouler l'esthétique
mise en place et jusque là entretenue par Clickits, Part-timer,
Manyfingers ou The boats. Porté par la voix de sa protégée
Cukiyo (dont le premier album solo devrait justement sortir
chez Flau), Curveland rappelle immanquablement le doux bucolisme
de Piana, et constitue une alternative de choix à son
magnifique Ephemeral (les arrangements de cordes en moins).
Curveland est un pays idyllique aux courbes nécessairement
arrondies et douces, où se joue une musique en cristal
soufflé : bleeps et glitchs agissent tels des picotements,
des bulles remontant à la surface d'une eau calme où
viennent choir quelques gouttes de piano électrique,
des flocons de glockenspiel, au dessus de laquelle voltigent
des pétales synthétiques et vacillent guitares
et flutes vaporeuses. Aus s'inspire de la nature, la transforme
pour la faire sienne, et la rendre plus douce encore.
Retrospectively, this CD has lost absolutely none of
its charm at all. A beautifully delicate and detailed album
of gently electronic sounds that, in common with The Boats and
The Sea, has a lovely organic feel. Subtle electronic rhythms
play underneath the deeply melodic tunes and superbly wistful
vocals. An enchanting and very airy piece of work that has that
timeless quality to it. Marvellous.
The music weaved by 23 year old Yasuhiko Fukuzono, aka
Aus, is a tender balm for the ears that can readily be compared
to the likes of Angelo Badalamenti and Piana without becoming
overshadowed or belittled. Opening through the muted glow of
'Lied', Aus allows a rustle of glitch edits to snowfall atop
the swelling soundscape and John Carpenter-referencing melody,
creating a piece of music that seems almost too fragile to exist
but is there in resplendent beauty nonetheless. Attracting adjectives
like moths to a summer flame, tracks such as 'Mayonaka no Sukima'
and 'Curve' temper their watercolour theatrics with the honey-drenched
vocals of Cokiyu - wherein the aural ties to Piana are most
pronounced and difficult to dispute. Yet where this could seem
little more than well intentioned plagiarism, Fukuzono's talent
and scope goes well beyond the call of duty - crafting bijou
compositions from the most reduced palate imaginable. With a
brush of clicks here and a wash of atmospherics there, 'With
Rain' soon becomes a micro-symphony of quite staggering beauty,
whilst elsewhere the likes of 'Apt' and 'Linier' are drenched
in wavering guitar tones and enchanted electronics that soon
interlock for maximum emotional impact. If Mum were a little
less pastoral, then 'Curveland' could be compared to 'Finally
We Are No One' - but where that record drew its charm from homespun
sources, Aus seems to cocoon you in a more electronically gestated
web that is breathtaking from start to finish. Gorgeous.
Producer Yasuhiko Fukuzono delivers a gentle blend of
warm electronics and live instrumentation with sweet vocal accompnyment
courtesy of Cokiyu. Piano is fused with glitchy twinkles and
shimmering, clean pristine production. Although this is very
pretty sounding it fails to seduce me with it's charms. perhaps
listening to it an environment other than the hectic office
that is the towers would allow me to absorb it a bit more. The
pallate of sounds used are similar to Colleen in places. Like
a sonic oriental Lullabye.
After drifting down under for last year's well received album
from Aussies Minimum Chips, the Moteer family extends a little
further with "Curveland", the third solo album from
Japanese musician Aus. Yasuhiko Fukuzono is a mere 23 years
of age, and already he has put his name to a quite substantial
body of work, developing his production talents from glacial
electronic experimentation to pure vocal pop. This latest cd
shows a sensitive side to Fukuzono's production and slots in
perfectly to the Moteer core sound. Tempered glitches and subtle
melodies are draped with ethereal pads and utterly charming
female vocals, and it comes as little surprise to hear that
the musician moonlights as a soundtrack producer.
Indeed there is something delicately cinematic about 'Curveland',
and not in the way you might think - there's none of the menace
of Angelo Badalamenti or the forced grandeur of John Williams
here, rather we are treated to the soundtrack to a simple film
about love, say Brief Encounter or fittingly Lost in Translation.
The best comparison might be made with the fabulous Piana (released
on Taylor Deupree's 'Happy' label) who similarly made waves
on the electronic scene with her delicate synthetic pop sounds,
yet Fukuzono also has something deeply unique. Unlike his contemporaries
in the Japanese scene, he seems to fit in perfectly with Moteer's
pastoral and unashamedly British vision - long green grass,
knitted sweaters and hot cups of tea. This bright-eyed homespun
sentiment is exactly what makes 'Curveland' so hard to forget
- so don't resist, let Fukuzono wrap you up with the most gorgeous
audio this side of Tokyo.
Curveland is full of inviting lulling tones, micro rhythmic
pulses and the odd more up beat lush pop moments, the tracks
are often soothed by light airy and sensual Japanese/English female
vocals. All weaved together to make the audio equivalent of
slowly falling on to a warm feather mattress. Pure audio comfort,
which you just want to seek deeply into.
Nothing every feels forced or contrived, it's all just beautiful
painted like a delicate watercolour of sunlight playing on a
sea scape,with all the grace of spring blossom fall. This simply
makes you feel good, you feel warm outwards from its unfolding
petals of audio grace. It aptly mixes pitter-patter of summer
rain music box sounds, sunwarmed ambient electronics, fragile
guitar tones, lush- often hazy banks of piano waltz, Plus glicthy
electronics with all the sharpness sanded away. Not forgetting
the beautiful vocals curtsey of Cokiyu, which are left to float
over the sound like silk or enchantingly electronically trapped
and mixed in like audio chocolate into the creamy and smooth
sound base. It does seem to become slightly downcast as the
album drifts towards the end, but never really enough to make
A very pleasant and feel good slice of audio cake, that will
relax and loosen up one's life tight body and spirit, Which
nicely balances melodic concerns with richly textured depth
Tokyo's Yasuhiko Fukuzono produces this album for Moteer
of delicate, gossamer-thin sonic weaves. Sometimes accompanied
by the voices of Cokiyu, sometimes bare deconstructed instrumentals,
the music of Aus often seems like a the product of an innocent
child's imagination, if said child were weaned on the likes
of Bjork, Stereolab and Mum that is.
Despite being just twenty three, Japanese musician and producer
Yasuhiko Fukuzono already has no less than five albums under
his belt, including this latest effort, collecting music that
goes from atmospheric electronic experimentation to unadulterated
pop. He also regularly dabbles in composing and producing soundtracks,
and co-run the Tokyo-based record label Flau.
On Curveland, Fukuzono slowly peels off layers of soft electronics
and discreet glitches and statics wrapped around dreamy melodies
and, on many occasions, the breathy vocals provided by Cokiyu,
to reveal deeply emotional moments often reminiscent of early
Mum or of Fukuzono's compatriot Piana. Curveland is all half-tones
and tempered ambiences, in turn shrouded in light or clouds,
with treated acoustic instrumentation gleaming through cracks
and tears affecting the surface calm to give each song a singular
texture. Fukuzono works a very straight and narrow groove here,
never veering far from his sonic template, and he does so with
precision as he assembles minimal sound sources into complex
and evocative soundscapes. Yet, Fukuzono manages to retain the
fresh feel of his music all the way through. Beautiful melodies
emerge almost unnoticed and dig their way through fragmented
constructions until they evaporate, leaving just a vague after
taste, helping create the overall eerie effect that lingers
over the whole album.
All the way through, Fukuzono toys with lyrical atmospheres
and vast narratives, yet he stops short of creating sweeping
pastoral pieces, resorting instead to underwhelming ethereal
themes and delicately assembled miniature pop songs. The result
is simply stunning. It is difficult not to succumb to the fragile
aspect of pieces such as Lied, With Rain, Curve, Tejina, Apt
or Yoakemae and marvel at how they hold together with grace.
Fukuzono applies gentle sonic touches to alter melodies without
ever breaking their individual flow, and collates his compositions
without much breathing space in between, as if the short silences
separating each piece was as much part of the songs as any of
his sound sources. Cokiyu's sweet and sour vocals add to the
ephemeral aspect of Fukuzono's music and appear intricately
woven into the sonic landscape of this album.
Although comparisons to both Mu´m and Piana are valid, Aus’s
resolutely minimal outreach gives this album a singular relief
and places Fukuzono’s work in a league of its own. Curveland
is a truly enchanting and accomplished collection of ethereal
Japanese pop with interesting scope and depth.
Glacial tempered glitch, subtle melodies, draped ethereal
pads, utterly charming female vocals. A delicately cinematic
Aus kommt aus Japan, heisst eigentlich Yasuhiko Fukuzono
und fügt sich mit seinem neuen Album wie perfekt in das
Moteer-Universum ein, dem Label der Band The Remote Viewer,
das Schritt für Schritt erfolgreich vom Familien- zum tatsächlichen
Künstlerlabel mutiert. Zwar klingen die Beats hier und
da ein bisschen altbacken, sprich sehr technologisch und digital;
all das wird aber durch die freundlich aufmunternde Naivität
der Musik und der gehauchten Vocals wieder wett gemacht. Wenn
The Remote Viewer in einem Tokyoter Hochhaus wohnen würden,
sie würden mit Sicherheit so klingen. Es blubbert und spritzt,
dann ruht es wieder, merkwürdige Noises bäumen sich
auf und die Stimme von Sängerin Cokiyu deckt alles zu.
Zwischendrin ein Piano-Ton, der mächtig genug ist, auch
den Bullet Train anzuhalten. Sehr fein und noch viel leiser.
Fukuzono's one of those rare producers whose work exemplifies
technical command and compositional artistry in equal measure
with the latter pointedly deployed in service to the latter.
Every piece is a marvel of construction in rhythmic and melodic
respects and, on the all-instrumental Lang, the Tokyo-based
producer effortlessly segues between uptempo locomotion and
delicate lullabies that sparkle iridescently. Sometimes beats
and melodies work in tandem while at other times they work at
cross-purposes, such as in “Double Talk” and “Moraine” which
contrast the heft of thrusting grooves with willowy melodies
that arc in slow motion. Fukuzono proves he knows his way around
a funk construction too, judging by the fulminating beatsmithing
parading through “Beyond the Curve,” while the beat programming
skills showcased in the light-speed “Halo” and “Headphone Girl”
verge on amazing.
Having released delightfully gentle works of electronica
art on U-Cover, Music Related and Moteer, Japanese artist Aus
now turns to Linus Records' in-house label to deliver yet another
beautiful selection of music. Chilled, crispy, engineered with
love and affection, it's a collection of electronic music that
sits on the melodic side of things and couples vocals to surprisingly
catchy chords and sounds. Fans of the aforementioned labels
will adore this, and people who enjoy the more downbeat side
of the electronica scene will get a lot from it too. A luscious
album that's full of feeling.
This is the work of one Yasuhiko Fukuzono, who on first
listening summoned up comparisons to Kieran Hebden's Fourtet
project. This is very much discernible through the use of twinkling
melodies, chiming textures and glistening colours tempered by
percussive beats and good use of space between sounds. Not quite
as organic as my early comparisons are the pitched up synthetic
beats on "Halo" which is countered by the live drums
on track three "Double Talk". A fine album of blue
but polished electronica if you like: Neo Oiuja, Expanding,
CCO. Not at all challenging, easily digestible. I'll leave the
technological guesswork to the boffins out there.
Lang is an exquisite mix of IDM and beauty pop electronica
album. aus makes beautiful and rhythmical sound with intricate
percussive beats, bright and melancholic melodies. His before
album " Sonorapid " has many vocal tracks. But this
new one is instrumental album for fans of brightly sweet electronica/IDM.
my second thoughts
After a hectic period of participation in soundtrack scoring
for Takafumi Tsuchiya's short films, producing remixes for Motoro
Faam and Miyauchi Yuri, participation in mu-nest compilation
"we are all cotton-hearted", and of course, his own
album release "Sonorapid" in June, we all thought
that Yasuhiko Fukuzono, a.k.a. aus, would take a short break
in December. But, before the end of the year, he shocked everybody
by releasing another full-length album, "Lang" (under
the new Preco Records), which is his second album in 2006!!
"Lang" opens with the track "Clock", whereby
it develops in a "slow-fast-slow" mode, which reflects
the flows of "time" in our daily life. The passionate
synth strings in the middle of the track is so powerful, and
Following that, the track "Halo" allows Yasuhiko to
show off his skills in beat programming. The beats written were
layered with intensity and warm feeling, making it as a perfect
song for a foggy morning.
"Double Talk" uses a live drum set sampling to structure
the rhythm, melted with cut-up style scratching effects, with
rhones and electric guitar hovering at the sides. If you like
"Von Rechts Nach Links" in ausﾕs second album "Kangaroo
Note", then you will definitely love this track!!
In "New Look", the breakbeat rhythm has changed into
a glitch cover. The floating electronic notes at the end of
the track connect the following track "Beyond The Curve"
effortlessly. In the spacey ambient, the powerful drum beats
kick in, accompanied by the beautiful rhones, electric guitars
and clarinet, and Yasuhiko even throw in an awesome-almost-crazy
drum programming at the end of this track, making it my favorite
track in the album.
"Opaque" uses a dense rhones tones to mirror the impenetrable
texture of "opaque". And its beats do remind me of
the track "Midnight Wedding" in "Kangaroo Note".
Maybe because of the xylophone, or maybe because of the beats
laid on a sea of vinyl noise, the track "Aslope" does
give the breezy feel of summer beach.
One of the tracks provided in the official website for preview,
is "Headphone Girl". This is a track that is easy
to love. Unfortunately, the beats programming towards the end
of the track became too complex and moved away from the mood
of the track. Similarly in the following track "Moraine",
the connection between the instruments and mood transition are
somewhat too edgy and making it the least favorable track in
Fortunately, we have a beautiful closing track in the form of
"Stargazing". Yasuhiko portrayed a night sky with
synth pad and electric guitar, and twinkle it with the starry
breakbeats. Simply gorgeous!
The fourth full-length album from Tokyo-born Yasuhiko Fukuzono,
a.k.a. aus, is a breathtaking mix of shimmering IDM and exquisite
Selling more than 1000 copies in Japan within a week of release,
"Lang" instills intricate percussive beats and subsonic
frequencies with delectably gorgeous melodies. Highly recommended
for fans of brightly sweet electronica/IDM.
We've been selling out of these in the shop for a while
now with nothing but an impassioned, handwritten note letting
customers know what it's like. So this review is probably long
overdue. At first we were ready to brush Sonorapid off as another
Japanese, Oval-esque IDM release; but we were soon drawn in
and realized there is a lot more to this album than its surface
elements. It does have skittery rhythms, clicks, whirrs, quietly
ringing guitar notes and dreamy female vocals, but it all manages
to transform within the song. Like the first Pole album, the
elements that seem random or conceptual in other records reveal,
upon closer inspection, a delicate arrangement that comes and
goes, pushing the song forward. (All the songs have that quality,
but check out track two, "Tewa Tori Aeru" and track
four, "EMI.") That's the other thing about Aus, I
can't imagine another artist that blends modern edginess with
sweetness and effective song-y-ness in that Japanese way as
well. Its kind of an update on the delicate balance reached
on Nobukazu Takemura's very first Child's View album. Maybe
it's the almost Nagisa Ni Te/romantic undertone that makes it
special, that sweetness that's almost too sugary, but ends up
being interesting enough, and having enough other qualities
to offset the sweetness and lure you into it. This is definitely
music for that "special" moment and that "special"
place, but even if you're not necessarily in this mood, it will
likely bring you there safe and sound. Excellent album.
You'll find it's an utterly likeable blend of gentle
electronic pop music with a lightly organic tone. Weaving a
magical spell over the listener, Aus creates a sublime atmosphere
that's relaxing and memorable... no wonder then that this album
is much sought after. Do yourself a favour and check this out
without any delay as it's a superb release.
You've been up all night. Your ready to crash. But it's not
time yet. The best part of the day is coming up. Time to sit
by the window, or outside on the closest hillside. The sun breaks
over the horizon, and your ready for another day. "Sonorapid"
by 23 year old Tokyo-son Aus (Yasuhiko Fukuzono) ia the soundtrack
to this moment. Shimmering electronics, soft vocals, and the
sunrise. Intricate rhythms, subsonic frequencies, and female
vocals are the plan. The sound of urban bedroom pop.
music (for robots)
In japan, find you fresh tunes.
Turns out it's an amazing little record. 9 songs, 42 minutes.
All of it just wonderful, quiet beauty. The band is actually
one guy - Yasuhiko Fukuzono from Tokyo. This is his third record,
and I haven't yet had the opportunity to hear his others yet.
His latest, Sonorapid is just wonderful. Everyone I play it
for falls in love with it. I mean, what's not to like? Listen
for yourselves. It's quite delicate and sparse, but never cold
or informal. It's like a nice glass of lemonade, and not in
some old fashioned country kinda way.
Warm lush washes of shimmering bedroom pop in sunset.
don poe, ear/rational
Lush and delicious ambient techno - plenty of quirks and pops
to keep it moving but soothing tones and chill melodies to relax.
There is a vibrant woman's voice that calls through the mist
of sweeps that reminds me of the lady that sings in Lynch movies,
a nice soft edge. This appears to be made by folks in Japan
and this music pulls some great traditions of their culture
into make these tunes really unique ambient melodies. Chilled
out, put on ice and ready to serve! Pleasing, light bubbly taste
with hints of flowers and breezes, no heavy, dark oak flavors
aus's Sonorapid is tailor-made for those who prefer their electronic
music warm and soothing rather than abrasive and chilling. Tokyo
artist Yasuhiko Fukuzono's tracks shimmer like summer haze lifting
off a desert highway and glistens like sunlight sparkle reflecting
off a gently rippling lake. Don't get the wrong impression,
though: while the tone may be placid on the dreamy meditation
“It's Tomorrow Already,” Aus's intricately programmed material
is typically uptempo and bursting with activity. On“Tewa Tori
Aeru,” scurrying electronics keep up a perpetual dance while
a piano voices a minimal tinkling melody and Cokiyu adds soft
vocals. Fukuzono often pairs a slow vocal line with a considerably
more animated accompaniment, a case in point “Koeto,” where
percussive treatments suggest its creator's Japanese origins.
Led by Suntra's acoustic guitar picking and a gently funky rhythm
treatment, “EMI” swings breezily under Yukiko Okamoto's vocal
whisper while the multi-layered wonderland “Music” entrances.
To Fukuzono's credit, Sonorapid manages to be delectably pretty
without sounding vapid in the process.
I've fell greatly in love with the crafty works by an
artist called aus. aus is actually an individual project by
Yasuhiko Fukuzono, a very young but extremely talented musician
from Tokyo. By the time he released his beautifully crafted
debut album "Kangaroo Note" under the awesome Belgium
label U-Cover in 2004, he was only 20 years old. The following
year, he pushed up a gear and released his second album "Crowding"
under the same label.
aus's pieces are mainly IDM-genred with glitch pop sensibilities.
He cleverly injected charming melodic lines and fascinating
glitch beats into his works, making it a real pleasant listening
experience. In addition to these toe-tapping IDM-fueled tracks,
he also considerately put in some ambient stuff into his albums.
Besides balancing up the whole listening, these ambient compositions
also reflect the calm side of aus.
In 2006, the now 23 years old Yasuhiko, proudly
put the third album onto his belt. His third album, "Sonorapid"
(released by New York label, Music Related, which is also home
to Shugo Tokumaru and Luminous Orange), continues from where
"Kangaroo Note" and "Crowding" have left
off. In this more matured album, we can't help but to notice
aus's programming skills and his sense towards easy-listening
melody and sound texture has improved distinctively. The melodies
and rhythm in "Sonorapid" were elegantly smoothened
and we can hardly find any edgy joints in it, as we've bumped
into quite a few in "Kangaroo Note" and "Crowding".
Furthermore, the introduction of vocals has contributed to a
richer sound texture and has made the album even more heart
warming and soul moving. Out of these three, "Sonorapid"
is definitely my favorite aus's album!
A dreamy blend of awkward rhythms and breathy female
vocals that will appeal to fans of Mum. The production is shimmering.
aus is the project in solitary of the Japanese Yasuhiko
Fukuzono. That of Tokyo publishes what is their third disk,
in fact since before this premiere for Music Related, it published
two cd-r of limited edition (95 copies) in the Belgian stamp
Or-Cover ('Kangaroo Notices' in the 2004 and 'Crowding' one
year later), besides putting music to a plentiful list of short
experimental. That that here presents us it is a compact work
of pop electronic digital. Pop electronic to the Japanese: gentle,
silky and encircling. Yasuhiko builds a milime´trica it bases
rhythmic, the redecora with glitches and textures and on her
it inserts a dream-pop of reverberated guitars, keyboards oni´ricos
and melancholic melodies. Everything very well produced.
Although he/she doesn't help to escape from the standard of
Japanese contemporary pop music the added of invited feminine
voices (those that leaving of Bjork finds Piana via Tujiko Noriko),
'Sonorapid' it is a pleasant album, of night atmosphere and
he/she listens horizontal that, without ending up reaching the
status and the personality of (to name some artists of their
time and office) a Shugo Tokumaru or the mentioned Naoko Sasaki
(Piana), it contains (inside their regularity) good moments
like the beautiful pop ensonadorar of 'Tewa Tori Aeru' and 'Small
Time' and the integration of certain folk-jazz in 'EMI.'
Aus nous propose aujourd'hui "Sonorapid", quarante-deux
minutes de pur bonheur électronique, avec neuf morceaux
d'une esthétique sonore séduisante, des programmations
inspirées, et, cerise sur le gâteau, une douce
voix féminine en filigrane des rythmiques. Il n'y a pas
de doute, Aus vient de rejoindre les hautes sphères de
la scène electronica japonaise !
aus second Cdr release from the 21 year old Yasuhiko Fukuzono
from Tokyo, Japan on U-cover. Again he shows his skills and
unique approch to todays IDM music. aus keeps a very natural
feel to his music and these 8 tracks sounds very complimentory
to his last years debut release on U-cover CDr limited.
This is a Japanese artist's second album in cdrseries
I don't know whether he is doing the activity of the other country
and other label at all. However, I feel that the quality is
very high as long as this is heard. It's not sulky like electronica
and an intermediate sound through the ambient that is not pure
techno. However, it's easy to hear it very much because it firmly
has the rhythm.
There are nostalgic feeling in the electronic sound and
the evening in summer.
I think that a trend in erectoronic music for a certain period
of time has already ended,but good sound remains forever.
aus is the 21 year old Yasuhiko Fukuzono from Tokyo,
Japan. With these 11 tracks aus shows us his fresh and open
mind and gives a personal interpretation to today's IDM style
and 21th century ambient music.
Kangaroo Note is 11 track that develops in his unique,nostalgic
and fantastic soundscape,though he is very young.
Why do I come to want to listen to the electronic sound in the
place where no one exists.
Magnificent red heap of mountains of Doromite.
Top in infinite mountains that I saw in Whistler.
Sands in Phuket of evening.
Sound of sprayed wind.
Sound of surging wave.
The electronic sound sounds slowly between the nature that swings