Taro Nohara, sometimes known as Yakenohara, and sometimes part of the Tokyo-based production / performance trio, Unknown Me, has been releasing music, locally, for over a decade. Initially these emissions were cross-genre, hip hop / sampledelia -inspired collages, while now they are most definitely ambient. Most recently he could be found remixing Ayane Shino`s sublime classical guitar cover of Susumu Yokota`s Tobiume. I had the pleasure of hearing Taro play, on a bill that also featured Ayane, Chillax, and the electronic innovators, Takashi Kokubo and Inoyamaland, at MusicMine`s SEION event, last December.
For his first worldwide musical missive, he teams up with Basso and The Growing Bin, for the album, Hyper Nu Age Tekno – a total of ten tracks, some of them short interludes, that finds Taro toying with the boundaries between inner and outer space. The titular “Tekno” is an over-riding influence, but its like the mid-90s output of Rob Hood and Jeff Mills with the bulk of the pounding removed. The beat, bash, of Space Debris sounds like the bounce of a basket ball on a sprung gymnasium floor. Ill Eel races, but it`s more of a pulse than a big room banger. Use Your Head features helium-huffing, spaced invaders. Imagine Prince doing Camille over a near beatless reprise of X-103`s Atlantis, or an old Will Thomas / Martian record, where jazz is the teacher. The laser blasts of Airplane Without People aren’t set to stun, but to tickle. Baker Baker Paradox is a deep house-derived abstraction. An aural oasis of whirring, whizzing noises and virtual voices. Busy, without being cluttered.
Throughout human harmonies are hinted at, amidst the gongs, temple bells and gaseous, gated, digital clouds. Celestial Harmonia starts out a sci-fi symphony, all icy strings and stuttered drums, before evolving / devolving into playful Orb-like psychedelia, full of trippy sampled speech snippets. The title track then provides a final fade of alien distress signals, that`s Joe Meek meets Frank Comstock meets Bebe & Louis Barron`s grounding breaking `50s Forbidden Planet score.
Taro Nohara`s Hyper Nu Age Tekno is out now, on Growing Bin Records.