The Tokyo born and bred artist, Aus, Yasuhiko Fukuzono to his folks, has been releasing music since the early 2000s, and founded his own, flourishing, label, Flau, in 2006. However, he’s just licensed his latest long-player, Everis, to Lo Recordings. It’s an incredibly accomplished collection of compositions, arrangements that combine electronic and classical elements. The sometimes short pieces segueing seamlessly, effectively serving as 2 or 3 suites. Shifting between the avant / experimental and symphonic, often within the same song.
On Landia, an early single, techno timbres twist about broken, booming beats, and children’s chants, like some traditional, celebratory, ceremony transported to the future. The album opener, Halsar Weiter, is a serene, high, psychedelic shimmer. A complex confluence of treated sounds. A rippling river of drones and trickling textures, that rhythmically, together, produce a gentle pitter patter. Brock Van Wey’s White Clouds Drift On And On might have been a convenient point of reference – but without the melancholy – until the strings caught me completely off guard. Past From’s morphing melody is constructed from cascading chimes, that glisten and glitter like Christmas snow, or spring rain. A piano pumping out a playful groove. Clattering percussion providing further counterpoint. The results recalling Steve Reich’s Music For 18 Musicians, romanced, though, by violin and cello.
The fact that several of the tracks aren’t tracks, but actually proper songs was another big surprise. Flo, for example, is an ambient (hyper) ballad, where the voice is only really accompanied by its own extrapolated echo. Step, a collaboration with Gutevolk – an alias of Hirono Nishiyama, who’s recorded for luminaries such as Haruomi Hosono and Nobukazu Takemura – blends ethereal vocals and enchanted zither-like zings in a manner that brings to mind Bjork’s Pagan Poetry. Make Me Me, produced with Australian performer, Paddy Mann aka Grand Salvo, is a hefty head-nodding, slo-mo hip hop dream pop duet. These tracks, in particular, mark Everis out as an amazing achievement.
Swim creatively chops and collages. Serrating singers. Rearranging, transforming tongues into a Laurie Anderson-like tone poem. The closing Neanic, featuring the beautiful Norwegian Hardanger fiddle of Benedicte Maurseth – a member of The Society Of Strange And Ancient Instruments – begins understated, its patient progression worthy of Jóhann Jóhannsson or Arvo Pärt, before eventually opening out into an epic orchestral score. The mood throughout the album, unusually for modern electronica, is marvelously upbeat. There are no moments of introspection. Everything emits light and love.
Aus` Everis is out now on Lo Recordings.