Echochroma

Yuki Aida & Tomotsugu Nakamura

Tomotsugu Nakamura is a sound artist residing in Tokyo, Japan. His primary artistic practice is composing music by acoustic instruments, and field recordings. His sounds function like a sketch; dotted patterns on white clean paper.

Yuki Aida is a Japanese sound artist. His music crosses the boundaries of ambient and dance and has received complimentary feedback from Ryuichi Sakamoto.

Ēchóchrōma

This work was born by the happy encounter of two Japanese musicians of a new generation. The work consists of 12 fragmentary passages. Yuki’s worked with MAX/MSP to construct the foundations for each piece. Tomotusgu built on Yuki's materials, carefully working with slices of audio and forming the completed tracks. Field recordings from Haruo Okada were weaved into the song narratives to expand the sound palette. The result is an album that overflows with intricate bleeps, unique tones and micro rhythms.

Cover designed by Paul Bilger | Mastered by Dovuaski.

AB055 | September 2014

 

Reviews

  1. Touching Extremes

    Working with Max/MSP-generated sonorities while adding floaty swathes of field recordings, Aida and Nakamura managed to bring forth a type of honest electronica that, though deprived of any genuinely innovational prospect, is nonetheless positively greeted by these ears in virtue of its graceful acoustic posture. Snippets of phrases get embroiled, crunched and sprayed with digital polychromatic dust, still retaining cuddling values; kind-hearted distortion and asymmetrical echoes do the rest. The resulting music is a well-regulated democracy under an enlightened guidance: single components emerge – each with its own textural spacing and density – yet the sense of collective harmony is what ultimately prevails in spite of a pulsating plurality. Picture tiny crumbles of Taylor Deupree picked and swallowed by birds looking like miniature replicas of Fennesz (the finest variant, not that of the recent abominable Bécs). I would love avoiding an overexploited adjective, but I won’t: “organic” is the keyword, especially in regard to the insect-like industriousness defining large chunks of this album. The successiveness of “Hexa” and “Hepta” is one of the most rewarding, just to identify a highlight; the cohesiveness in this luminous integrity is a given. A solid effort by two artists whose creative conceptualizations give an idea of imperturbable reliability.

  2. Beach Sloth

    Exploring the most delicate of soundscapes are the meticulous melodies of “ēchóchrōma”. Yuki Aida and Tomotsugu Nakamura allow for a wide variety of experimental impulses to take form throughout the album. By letting these sounds roam free while grounding them with accessible sunny textures, the pieces pop with life. At times the work recalls Oval’s earlier gentler work and the childlike sense of wonder that permeates much of Nobukazu Takemura’s work, specifically his album “Scope”. Swirling about in the most gentle way possible the songs are as light as airy hovering above with a great sense of joy. 

    Glistening tones introduce the pristine “mono”. Skipping about at a giddy pace the sounds bounce off of each other quite lazily. Lovely with fragile structures is the loose work of “tetra”. The geometric feeling of the sounds work wonders as their attention to detail includes brushes with white noise and sine waves. Incorporated into bubbly textures the song feels carefree in nature. Fine glitch work defines the expansive “hepta”. Going for the dreamy is the luscious tones of “nona”, with their blooming sound akin to that of a flower in bloom. A relaxed shoegaze texture serves as the rhythmic base for the gorgeous album closer “dodeca”. Coming in and out of focus the blurred fluorescent hues help to bring the album to the pitch perfect ending. 


    Beautiful, bold and brilliant Yuki Aida + Tomotsugu Nakamura prove that the experimental can be emotional on “ēchóchrōma”. 
  3. Infinite Grain

    Entropy theory doesn’t apply to sound in the common way, at least not in the aesthetic perspective implied in the act of mutating audio data on a computer where landscapes, objects, tools, people or any moment, can be captured, altered and reintroduced into the ear’s world under exotic amalgams and textures, suggesting new realities in which the sounds’ soul doesn’t transmigrates but changes, thus extending its possibilities to remote havens of timbre. Ēchóchrōma is a perfect sample of that colorful and varying richness of sonic forms, in this case assembled from the microscopic realms by two artists who besides of exhibiting their algorithmic skills, manage to condense a series of tonal strokes, geometric rhythms, surprising melodies and captivating structures; unprecedented granular expressionism able to overcome the chaos and order dichotomy to create its own dynamism, an authentic conception of motion.

  4. Chain D.L.K.

    This release is a collaboration between two sound artists Tomotsugu Nakamura, focused on micro rhythms, and Yuki Aida, focused on ambient. Even if the linear notes present this as 'an album that overflows with intricate bleeps, unique tones and micro rhythms', it's a release that sounds a little derivative as his influences are clearly perceptible during the listening.


    As the song titles suggest, this album sounds like a single track divides in twelve movements. The gentle tones and rhythm of 'Mono' opens this release abruptly ending to let 'Di' continues with a fractured beat that periodically ends. The glitches of 'Tri' evolve into 'Tetra', an hypnotic track based upon the juxtaposition of a small loop and a longer one. The slow development of 'Penta' is based upon the 'classic' glitches of a cd player while 'Hexa' is based on an abstract small sample that is colored by the small beeps of a rhythmic part that is absent of 'Hepta', as it's focused on an abstract sound development, and returns in 'Octa' exalted by the short samples. 'Nona' sounds like a return to the atmospheres of the first track while 'Deca' is a delicate soundscape for a windy day as 'Undeca' for a desert one. 'Dodeca' quietly closes this release returning once again to the gentle tones of 'Mono'.


    As it's not a ground-breaking release, his strength lies in the musical writing able to develop a cohesive release out of the single tracks. The careful sound production, meaning a long development, make this release something worth a listen to all fans of glitch. A nice release.