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experimental album


Album review: Masayoshi Fujita – ‘Bird Ambience’: a marimba and electronica masterclass for meditative thought

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IF YOU like your music deliciously abstract, abstractedly delicious; arranged beautifully, an absolute world of evocative sound; fell hard, for instance, for the albums Ryuichi Sakamoto made with Alva Noto, Revep, Summvs, Vrioon, et al; or have adored the lusciousness of Chihei Hatakeyama’s new album, Late Spring, then sit down, sit up – Japanese vibraphonist, …

A decade in a life lived richly and well, presented on an album which straddles two worlds which are becoming ever better acquainted – modern classical and electronica; when Johann really hits home the two pirouette gloriously. At times worthy of a billing on Erased Tapes or the like, at times closer to J.Willgoose’s warm analogue ambience as Late Night Final, if we can take one thing away, it’s to endeavour to live as boldly, as clearly and as truly as Johann has

Outtakes these nominally may be, but a decade on these tracks would have all seen a parallel life in the 12″ and the like; a format which was only just starting to find its viability Stateside at this point in the Seventies. And remember not just that these ten tracks are culled from a year or more’s intense creative fire, but that those sessions gave birth to three albums. It’s an album for intense post-dusk savouring, soundscapes to fall sideways down the rabbit hole into, deep and otherworldly sonic immersion from one of the greatest electronic music brains.

Often abstract albums come across like a loose series of random sketches; but not Mirage. It’s got a clear vision that binds it together and like the best electronic music suggests something different to every listener each time they tune in … and that is some achievement

Cedars is quite a record – two records really; the first more orange and various other colours of the sun’s framing of the beginning and the ending of the day, alive with a heartfelt yearning and cosmic sonic thrill. The second is far more verdant, deep green, homespun, and focuses in very much in on the wonder of the simple; the moments we all return to, perhaps, at least us rural dwellers. If you’re at all conceptually familiar with the work of William Blake, his Songs Of Innocence And Experience, you’ll see; the twining and correspondences. Climb into Cedars, join the two worlds for yourself; the album is long on thought and also on beauty.