MYSTERY SEA 43 | Yui
Onodera | [Substrate]
collect the small sounds that no one notices.
Those 'Microsoundscapes' are very interesting in themselves.
The evening sun quietly shines over the city.
I listen to a lot of sounds with the mike in one hand.
When those sceneries metamorphose into music,
they give us a rich emotion.
There's a depth to vibrating sound,
along its flow. "
Onodera , October 2007
Onodera officiates in the sphere of (ec)static ambient soundscapes
where the ingredients mainly drift from environmental sound & field
recordings, digitally treated & combined afterwards with the use
of more traditional instruments which remain nevertheless largely unrecognizable,
and melted with finesse in the final assemblage...
Like many artists with a vision, he launched his own label CRITICAL
PATH in 2003 as a platform for releasing his initial works and asserting
his own style, but also to sustain experimental music in his own country
by organizing events...
Yui has also his hands into scores for experimental films, and contemporary
dance & Butoh...
He has just released his first official extraordinary CD "Suisei"
on the ever excellent and/OAR, and has another one out on the gripping
GEARS OF SAND label...
On "Substrate", Yui Onodera
is definitely on a quest to unlock the fundamental vibe underneath things,
pushing further the limits of perception... and it's as if he succeeded
in capturing the silent auras gliding through our bodies, the night
hum, the flickering of low lights above the trembling river...
"Substrate" goes through the membrane, leaving
inner organic structure open & bare to see...
From aural bruises & drowned resonances, ascend mental pools like
Clouds seem to pass in unison...
a pure flow made of multiple streams all running to the same destination,
a delicate place of ultimate awareness...
VITAL WEEKLY 608|Frans
Yui Onodera is a bit
better known for he has releases on his own Critical Path label, but
also on Drone Records and And/OAR. Here he appears on Mystery Sea, but
his telescope is not pointed towards the sea but to the sky, to the
various stratospheres above us. In eight pieces Onodera
takes us sky high where oxygen doesn't exist, everything is pitch black
and weightless. His compositions are highly ambient in approach too
and represent the 'one stroke of paint' approach: one sound, set forward
with not much change or movement. It lasts a few minutes and then the
next track appears. Quite a minimal approach, but seeing all tracks
are called 'Substrate', its perhaps better to think
of this one track in eight parts then eight separate tracks. It's a
work that has no water references, which is kinda odd for this label,
but musicwise it fits well among his fellow sailors. .
"...And indeed, methods and outcome are
vastly divergent on “Suisei” (and/OAR) and “Substrate”
(Mystery Sea). While the latter, a work of interrelated short-form pieces,
was built from a plentiful array of instruments and tools, the former,
a single track of just over forty minutes, uses nothing but a pump organ
and collected environmental sounds. The final result, however, is impressive
in both cases. While “Suisei” is
a unified work of puzzle-pieced entities, the eight separated parts
of “Substrate” form a coherent sphere.
This is the purest form of drone music imaginable, painstakingly minimal
and immaculately realized. Onodera does nothing to
confound expectations – instead satisfying them in the nicest
possible way. In the first pieces of the album, a continuous diffusion
of back- and foreground and a highly effective contrast between deep
maternal undulation and high flickering pulsation is at the heart of
As “Substrate” progresses, however, it
leaves all adornments aside, bathing in nothing but soft waves and dreamy
harmony. It is never quite clear, how many layers he uses at a given
time (especially in the massive cathedral corona of “Substrate
part 7”), but Yui has developed a technical prowess
which makes them melt into a sole texture anyway..." (excerpt of
larger article about Yui Onodera)
TO NOISE # 50|Darren
Is Yui Onodera’s Substrate
every bit as galvanizing as his recent And/Oar issue? Bite your tongue.
A master at extracting audio gold from lead, Onodera
can make the thinnest octave resonate brighter than a thousand supernova.
Operating at bracingly abstract levels, and using only bare essentials
(piano, voice, and processed electronics) he constructs Ikeda-like oscillations
that appear to leach out of the universe’s atomic structure. Perched
up high in the spectrum, this is the polar opposite of Phill Niblock’s
cacophonia, minimal but true, silvery threads of light irising off the
hinges of pearly gates.
We recently reviewed Yui Onodera’s
“Suisei” (on the And/OAR label), whose basic character derived
from different treatments of recordings of water. One supposes that
there’s water in “Substrate” too,
given the by now famous aesthetic foundations of Mystery Sea. Yet that,
and all the rest of the sources that Onodera decided
to exploit, are here decidedly unrecognizable - probably for the better.
What this writer didn’t know before is that the Japanese artist
is also a composer of soundtracks for experimental films, contemporary
dance and Butoh. It makes sense, as the succession of the eight parts
of this CD lets us think about the gradual development of a choreography,
one that starts with movement and nearly ends in total standstill. At
first there is a degree of slight interference amidst the droning calmness:
parallel nuances, rippled complications and deviations attempting to
barely blemish an otherwise almost too perfect beatitude. But as the
music keeps flowing, the intense beauty of these undistinguished radiations
comes in rivulets, creeks and small rivers to finally be channelled
in a static suspension of such grace that I had to associate it to Klaus
Wiese (precisely, his singing bowl trilogy “Space”, “Neptune”
and “Uranus”). Sounds that hold us to ransom until the piece
- a masterful one, if you ask me - completes its cycle, a sentiment-less
microcosm traveling towards the unknown with absolute tranquillity.
Splendid release, among the Belgian enterprise’s very best.
This tendency to dote on the
sea, would it be owing to metaphor or metamorphosis? The latter is infinitely
compelling, but then there is that transfixing tale, recounted by Emil
Cioran, of the sea as consisting of God's tears. Hence our desire to
drown in it, as a short-cut to God through His tears. In any case, Mystery
Sea, and its entire catalogue thus far, appears altogether devoted to
its enigma. Substrate,
though spawned from a number of sound sources, is ultimately the sound
of the movement of fluids, balanced yet brimming with tension and friction.
Onodera continually camouflages the electricity within the
flow of a swift pointillism and a Lucier-like harmonic drift, itself
a sort of expulsion of breath, redolent of deep weariness and shedding
of emotion. The work consists of eight pieces that, without ever quite
touching or bumping into each other as though by accident, quite effortlessly
roll and intertwine - in short, they link up without fusing or showing
much concern for contact. The pieces charm for this birthright, this
seemingly natural ability to maintain this magnetic distance and rapport
of form. Everything is highly conventional and highly regulated. And
while this means surprises may well be few and far between, the opportunity
to observe and vanish into the proceedings is more than ample recompense.
Asides from this, the basic force of these pieces stems not from their
accumulation of elements, but from their subtraction. A sort of classicism
may be seen here. There's nothing flabby about these pieces, nothing
ungainly. They move away from their moorings, leaving fewer and fewer
traces, ascending into higher, dreamier atmospheres, as though out of
concupiscence for the sky. When a tinkling of water reappears at the
end, it's as though one has come full circle, its second occurrence
signaling the end of the first. Where Substrate travels
among the stars themselves, l'Inondation simply
charts its course by them. Mathias Delplanque's recording is steeped
in darkness - that of the basement in his apartment building in Nantes,
to be exact. In this place, pipe sounds, electrical buzzes, ventillation
fans and the like follow a trajectory that recurs time and again, marking
time and opening up a space out of which events swell and recede. Originally
a sound installation for the VKS Gallery in Toulouse, the piece slumbered
in that buildings basement, a dark cellar at the foot of a long, narrow
staircase. Perhaps understandably it achieves its best effect when lodged
in a close approximation to just such a setting. In this environment,
everything bristles with age, deep lines, contours, colors - in brief,
a rich decay that overflows at a constant yet slow, almost imperceptible
manner. The rarefied minutiae of Delplanque's sounds exist in a state
of structural tension against the relentless onwards motion of duration.
This ferrets out a fizzing and crackling that is at first apparent despite
itself, but that eventually seem to strategically seep more and more
into the backdrop, imbuing the piece with a sense of the inevitability
WONDERFUL WOODEN REASONS|Ian
This is just wonderful. Japanese
musician Yui Onodera operates in the realm of sumptuous
drone populated by artists such as Mirror, Jonathan Coleclough and Colin
Potter. His drones are outwardly simple yet his compositions are
immeasurably deep. They pour gently from the speakers flowing over
every surface in the room. Whilst sourced from environmental sources
along with electronics, voice, guitar and piano there is often little
clue as to the origin of the sounds you are listening to (track 8 being
the notable exception) instead one finds oneself fully immersed in the
flow of the music as it overwhelms all consciousness and transports
one fully into Onodera's opulent and verdant soundworld.
wonderful wooden reasons
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