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Yuki Aida: Revolve

img  Tobias Fischer

According to the website of Murmur Records, the ambient music of Japanese sound artist Yuki has been used in independent films and psychotherapy. That tidbit makes a lot of sense while absorbing the five untitled tracks that make up Revolve — tracks that sound as much like a meditative “om” as they do “music.”

Aida, the labelhead of the aforementioned Murmur releasing on Somehow Recordings on this occasion, seemingly builds most of his music around highly processed and meticulously edited guitar samples. Those samples are blurred together into an ambient ocean of sound. There’s no melody outside the oscillations of held tones and interfering wavelengths and little in the way of rhythm. There are harmonic changes, but only a few, and they exist outside of the gravitational pull of a defined tonal center. Rather the chords drift impressionistically and often imperceptibly within the drone of held notes that sometimes take on the sonic character of white noise, a distant air conditioner or engine. Like so much in the “ambient” canon, Revolve is arty ambiance above all else … in a meditative and psychological way. In a good way.

That isn’t to say there’s no motion in the wash of sound. The tones of the held notes are constantly undergoing changes in color and character, with different frequencies cycling to the forefront of the hum, long notes bending ever so slightly to vary the beating of dissonances. Volume is another tool used subtly and effectively, lending a sense of arc to each composition. And while the tracks don’t flow seamlessly into one another, when taken as a whole, Revolve is a wonderfully textured and colored work, each piece awakening you from the quiet reverie of its predecessor.

By Hannis Brown

Homepage: Yuki Aida
Homepage: Somehow Recordings

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