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Light In August, Later

tokafi
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 them.
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…

 

brainwashed
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 behind them.
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 of sorts).
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.

 

textura
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 state.

 

EtherREAL
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 vocalement.
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.

 

boomkat
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 artist.

 

norman records
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.

 

After All
vital weekly
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)

 

de:bug
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 ist gut.
Thaddi

 

smallfish
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.

 

DOA
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 soundscapes.
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 soothing entertainment.
Recommended If You Like (RIYL): Múm, Björk, Matmos, Aoki Takamasa/Tujiko Noriko and Efterklang

 

textura
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 material.

 

boomkat
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.

 

norman records
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 fragrant sound.

 

etherreal
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.
François Bousquet

station service
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
Laurent Guerel

ondefixe
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.

 

Antwarps
smallfish
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 stuff.

 

cyclic defrost
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.

 

norman records
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?   

 

Lang Remixed
smallfish
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.

 

cyclic defrost
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.

 

textura
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.

 

de:bug
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. 

 

 

Curveland
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.

 

angryape
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 occasions.

 

onde fixe
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.

 

smallfish
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.

 

boomkat
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.

 

norman records
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.

 

baked-goods
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.

 

musique machine
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 one blue.
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 and sweetness.

 

piccadilly records
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.

 

londonmilk
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. 

 

dotshop
Glacial tempered glitch, subtle melodies, draped ethereal pads, utterly charming female vocals. A delicately cinematic xperience.

 

de-bug
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.

 

Lang
textura
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.

 

smallfish
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.

 

norman records
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.

 

preco
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 yet beautiful.
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 the album.
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!

 

mu-nest
The fourth full-length album from Tokyo-born Yasuhiko Fukuzono, a.k.a. aus, is a breathtaking mix of shimmering IDM and exquisite pop electronica.
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.

 

Sonorapid
othermusic
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.

 

smallfish
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.

 

music related
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.

 

dotshop
Warm lush washes of shimmering bedroom pop in sunset.
Highly recommended.

 

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 here!

 

textura
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.

 

mu-nest
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!

 

norman records
A dreamy blend of awkward rhythms and breathy female vocals that will appeal to fans of Mum. The production is shimmering.

 

avantfolk
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.'

 

cvs musique
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 !

 

Crowding
u-cover
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.

 

foam
This is a Japanese artist's second album in cdrseries from u-cover.
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.

 

lounge label
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.

 

Kangaroo Note
u-cover
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.

 

chill out
Kangaroo Note is 11 track that develops in his unique,nostalgic and fantastic soundscape,though he is very young.

 

lounge label
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 by 1/f.