Yusaku Iida is a Japanese electronic music producer and DJ. He works under the artist name NYORAI and recently released 雨の音 (rain sound). Iida mentions “The track depicts the changing seasons of spring, summer, autumn and winter in Japan and the spirit of Zen(禅).” The music to my ears is in a similar lane to artists like Aphex Twin and Amon Tobin.
“ソラ (sora)” is an intro that took me into an enchanted forest with slick beats and a lot of tones and textures that were synth based. It has an airy like quality to it. The song definitely piqued my interest.
“錬金術 (alchemy)” sounds fantastic in terms of the production especially the drum programming. It’s a vibrant song that feels kinetic, lush and also quite serene and calming in ways. It quickly became evident to me that it is the type of music that can be enjoyed passively but to get to most out of it you need to pay attention. There are lots of little details that make the song intriguing and with a good pair of headphones you can fully immerse yourself.
“忘却 (oblivion)” contains this morphing drone, delayed percussive elements and cosmic sounding synths. The Aphex Twin like vibes were a little more overt here as I felt a sense of vertigo. While I was listening to this song, Autechre and Oneohtrix Point Never also came to mind. I really enjoyed the experimental qualities of this song.
“雨の音 (rain sound)” really creates an environment with rain and thunderstorms. The darker, night time quality felt more aligned with an artist like Burial. It’s also very cinematic and I could imagine this being used in a movie. There’s some very cool sound design here.
We get back into a beat heavy song with “ao.” There’s a tranquility to the song. It felt very meditative and zen like. I absolutely loved this feeling and it sounds just as cool with the percussion which happens about halfway through the song.
“空想 (daydream)” creeps in with some of the sickest percussion yet. I was reminded of early Bjork on this song. Iida should see if Bjork would do a guest vocal track. The centerpiece of the album is “国境 (border)” which is a little under nine minutes long. Suffice it to say this is an epic song that gets experimental in inventive and unique ways. Iida explores a lot of different terrain from the otherworldly textures to contemplative patterns of energy. He is also in no rush here. This is the arguable highlight.
A little more movement comes with “輝く (shine)” which I felt was the sun arriving after a long thunderstorm. Last up is which is “エンドレス (endless)” which is also bright with long frames of light and sound. There is a sense of infinity here which is perhaps why it’s called what it is.
I loved this album from beginning to end and the quality of the songs are up there with some of the aforementioned artists. This is a nice treat towards the end of the year. Highly recommended.
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