TATSURO KOJIMA | 16g

Audiobulb
 Cat: AB039
 Time: February 2012
 Media: Ltd Unique CD (1/50) & Digital Download

 Info: Tatsuro Kojima was born in 1977. His base is 
 Japan. He has collaborated with artists and labels 
 around the world. He is also active in web design, 
 graphic design, and mobile app development. 
 
 The songs on 16g were composed between 2009 and 
 2011. The artist recorded the album's environmental 
 sounds in the field, steps crunching on ice or snow, 
 and other sounds. Throughout, the album strives to 
 evoke the feel and sensation of paper-thin ice or 
 richly-coloured, yet transparent air.

 Artist site: http://polyphonic01.net/
PDF Press Release: Download
 Tracklisting:

 01. 0002
02. Hidden
03. Composition3
04. 16g
05. Out Noise
06. 0818
07. 0504
08. Room
09. Inside and Outside
10. 043 fredricson mix
11. Composition6
 Each CD comes in a unique package including an 
 individual cover photograph by the artist. A duplicate 
 photograph is matched inside the digipak with a signed 
 and personalised message from Tatsuro. 
  
    
 No CD digipaks are the same – for this reason you
 must choose your individual album from the 50
 different versions below. 

 Each bespoke CD is £14 + P&P. 

 To purchase simply email  contact@audiobulb.com
 stating the edition you wish to reserve. 

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 Thank you for your support.
 
REVIEWS | 16g
 THE MILK FACTORY
 
 As digital music is steadily gaining ground, CD sales have been increasingly declining in the past few years in the 
 same way as sales of vinyls and cassettes slumped when CDs were first introduced, but some record labels are 
 still willing to commit to the format and dare investing into special projects. One such project is the new album from 
 Japanese sound artist, graphic and web designer and mobile app developer Tatsuro Kojima, whose album 16g is 
 being released by the excellent Audiobulb in an extremely limited run (50 copies), each CD housed in a unique, 
 hand-made packaging, which counts an individual cover photo, a duplicate of which can be found inside, with at 
 its back, a personal handwritten message, in Japanese, from Kojima. The picture is also numbered and signed.

 The music is equally as delicate and artisanal. Kojima works from field recordings, primarily recordings of 
 footsteps in the snow or on ice, upon which he layers gossamer themes, fragile sonic structures built from a 
 pool of rich acoustic sounds and chimes, and tainted with subtle and elegant electronics. There are no set forms 
 or patterns here, instead Kojima makes use of his vast palette with extreme care, at times favouring light 
 shimmering formations (16g, 0818, Inside And Outside), at others opting for earthier tones (Hidden, Out Noise, 
 0504, Room) or textured drones (0002, Composition6).

 Kojima often blurs the boundaries between acoustic sounds, electronics and field recordings to creates his 
 soundscapes, but, either in their raw natural or processed state, it is their inherent refined aspect that he seeks 
 here. Whether he sets up to develop a defined melodic line and give a piece a clear path or settles for much more 
 fluid and ephemeral constructions, Kojima’s sonic miniatures are intricately woven self-contained pieces which, 
 like the packaging, never seem to sound exactly the same twice. Despite their relative diversity in terms of style 
 and approach, there is an impression of unity which runs through the whole record. It is at times as if Kojima was 
 aiming to create a set of similar ideas using very different components and processes. Whilst this certainly keeps 
 the mind alert, it also creates a false impression of continuity which, ultimately, results in 16g feeling extremely 
 fleeting and dreamy all the way through.

 With this album, Tatsuro Kojima has created a rather wonderfully evocative piece which, while making very good 
 use of field recordings, relies on the very nature of the music and on the soundscapes used to achieve this. Its 
 extreme fragility is perhaps made even more potent by the rarity of its physical presence, and by the uniqueness 
 of each of the CD produced.
 TEXTURA

 Like many a label, Audiobulb is devising innovative strategies to make its physical products more valuable and 
 distinctive. In the case of Japan-based Tatsuro Kojima's 16g, that means adorning the cover of each CD release 
 with an individual cover photograph by Kojima and including a duplicate photo within the packaging that includes a 
 signed and personalized message from the artist. Put simply, each physical CD is unique.

 Of course the release has more going for it than the presentation concept. It's very much in the tradition of 
 delicate moodscaping of the kind we've come to expect from Japanese artists associated with Schole and other 
 such labels. Field recordings figure prominently in the hour-long recording, while piano, vibraphone, harp, 
 synthetic sounds, and glitchy textures recur within its eleven electro-acoustic meditations, which Kojima 
 composed between 2009 and 2011. Airy, multi-hued, and translucent by design, the settings are intricate and 
 densely detailed affairs, comprised as they are of tinkling musical fragments and textural micro-slivers (consider 
 the abundance of creaks and whirrs pulsing through the otherwise glimmering “Composition3” as one example of 
 many).

 “0002” establishes the relaxed tone of the album in pairing atmospheric vibes accents and drones with the crunch 
 of footsteps trudging through snow-covered fields (a sound that re-emerges in the penultimate “043 Fredricson 
 Mix”). The addition of Aya Fukaya's breathy voice (even if reduced to a series of wave-like stutters) to “Out 
 Noise” lends the glitch-heavy piece a distinguishing character that separates it from the others; “0818” likewise 
 stands out for the bright vibraphone accents that resonate alongside the track's textural interplay. The album 
 reaches its fullest culmination in the closing piece, “Composition6,” an almost twelve-minute setting that unites the 
 various strands of Kojima's sound world into a single, vibrant dreamscape. Text accompanying the release notes 
 that Kojima aspired in the recording to “evoke the feel and sensation of paper-thin ice or richly-coloured, yet 
 transparent air,” and in this regard 16g clearly succeeds. 
 HEADPHONE COMMUTE

 Japanese ambient, electronic and experimental musicians have a cunning skill at bringing inanimate objects to life.
 Perhaps it is the traditional roots of Shinto and Buddhism that reveal a presence and being in each and every thing. 
 The fact that on a subatomic level, every living thing shares the same particles with non organic form. Through 
 music, the artist is then able to turn into a shaman and let the objects sing their story. This is at least the thought 
 that floats across my mind when I listen to Tatsuro Kojima's debut release, 16g.

 For the album, Kojima collects eleven tracks that were composed between 2009 and 2011, each comprised of 
 field recordings and environmental sounds, manipulated into thin layer of crackling micro sound. Diluted to its bare 
 minimalism, the white noise washes and static crinkles are the remnants of the melting snow, newly formed ice, 
 and brisk chilly air. In the foreground of the music are the notes of a sparkling piano, vibraphone and plucked 
 strings, dancing on a surface of the luminous water, like a sun ray on a frozen lake. Glitchy vocals (by Aya 
 Fukaya) break through the crispy coating and quiver with the stuttering texture of sound.

 The artist recorded the album's environmental sounds in the field steps crunching on ice or snow, and other 
 sounds. Throughout, the album strives to evoke the feel and sensation of paper-thin ice or richly-coloured, yet
 transparent air.

 Each limited edition of the album comes with a unique cover photograph by the artist. A signed copy of the photo 
 with a personalized message from Kojima is included inside the digipack, rendering each copy of the album truly 
 unique. Easily falling into a catalog of organic minimalism from 12k records, this album is nevertheless released 
 on David Newman's Audiobulb Records, propelling the Sheffield based curator even further onto the stage of 
 established experimental, micro-tonal and electro-acoustic labels. Thank you for your very personal touch!
 IGLOO MAG

 Tatsuro Kojima has been preparing his debut album for over two years, during which time he has also been busy 
 designing websites and mobile apps. The digital world is thus his natural biotope, one which he wisely aerates 
 with the warm tones of piano, chimes and the silky voice of Aya Fukaya (though on “Out Noise,” he picks it apart 
 with surgical unsentimentality).

 For 16g has sharp corners, razor-thin edges and taut wires that require some soft undergrowth. It spends much 
 of its time slicing through the air at a relatively high frequency, though Kojima exercises keen restraint. On “Hidden,” 
 he makes a jungle full of exotic birds twirp and squawk. He drapes curtains of static over the looping chime of 
 ”0504.” And he ties firefly knots in the air on ”Room.” A toy piano solos on “0808,” the most straightforward and 
 emotionally appealing track, which I believe is derived from one of the apps he created.

 It may sound cliché but whole album seems cognate to the Japanese paper arts (underscored by the fact that 
 each of the fifty, limited-edition compact discs comes with a personalized cover)—the rustle of rice paper, folding 
 of origami, the brush of the calligrapher on mulberry paper.

 The overall effect might have benefited by editing down the hour-long playing time because eventually, all the high
 tones begin to tickle the ear a little unpleasantly. But the best pieces are intriguing insights into a post-glitch 
 aesthetic.
 COKE MACHINE GLOW

 Track Review - Tatsuro Kojima: "0818" From 16g (Audiobulb; 2012)

 Tatsuro Kojima—no relation to Metal Gear Sold creator Hideo—is a games developer who just published sound 
 app Mizuiro. Basically a way of making your iPhone sound like an old dusty toy piano, it’s got to be the quaintest 
 music app around; one you could safely take to a baby shower. Clearly intrigued by the nano end of the listening 
 spectrum, Kojima’s made a whole album of it, 16g, on which he aims to encourage sensations of “paper-thin ice 
 or richly-coloured, yet transparent air.” This way’s cheaper than a smoke machine.

 Working with recordings of trodden snow and suzu bells—and not much else—Kojima’s world is delicate, 
 where you’re almost too scared to turn up the tracks in case they shatter. “0818” is his most fragile, sounding
 like a doorbell on a wrecked ship, overpowered by straining wood. Chimes and wrinkles knock against each 
 other, and if only a few more electronics were involved it’d sound exactly like Xela before he got religion. There 
 aren’t, and Kojima does his own thing, making music so peripheral distant fairy lights could dwarf it. If that 
 wasn’t interesting enough, purchasers of 16g are promised two Polaroids, each signed with a hand-written 
 message. So you’re not just getting music but a ransom.
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 Audiobulb Is an exploratory music label designed to support the work of innovative artists. 

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