Artist: Yui Onodera
Catalog Number: and/28
Release Year: 2007
Status: Sold Out
01. Suisei 41:35
Yui Onodera first attracted attention with work released on his own Critical
Path label in 2005. It wasn't too long after that he attracted the attention of
Drone Records, and/OAR, Mystery Sea, Taalem and Gears Of Sand
(releases still forthcoming on Mystery Sea and Gears Of Sand).
Suisei is a work composed from field recordings and pump organ.
Edited and re-mastered by Dale Lloyd.
With Suisei, each listener's inner cinema will find its camera lens slowly
panning and cross-fading from one enigmatic location to another, as if
unveiling ambiguous visual clues pertaining to some wondrous culminating
event that many might not fully understand, yet it will still manage to leave an
indelible impression upon the subconscious mind and a very subtle pull on
the emotions. A mystery drone soundscape journey along the shores of an
unfathomable glistening sea...
"Suisei is a composition by Yui Onodera that I like very much.
Almost tactile like use drone material, a seeming mix of environmental and
instrumental sounds (water seems to be a key element, and a pump organ
is mentioned). The piece builds slowly and inexorably, with a nice sense of
pacing. We might think it is over after about a half an hour but happily the
work continues even beyond. We never know where the composer is leading
us, but we are happy to find ourselves there." (Carl Stone)
Earlabs (March 2008)
Suisei describes a gradual movement along a horizontal plain, hedged by
field recordings and drones that are ever changing, as multiple frequencies
interact through the vertical laminates, revealing a microtonal world
simmering with low-key drama and incident.
With past works already released on labels such as Mystery Sea, this
recording represents his most comprehensive and cogent statement to date.
A narrative is erected before one's minds eye, one which knows how to
capture one's desire in anticipation of what might be revealed at the end. In
this vein, Onodera exploits the harmonic space to spread out chordal shifts
and inject mood and tension into pure, abstracted soundworlds. Change
and continuity are then united in his carefully tending to the interplay of the
field recordings with the pump organ, as he patiently waits for the interaction
to reach a natural endpoint before gradually weaving in new elements as the
old die away in a wonderfully slow cross-fade.
Another part of his approach is to diligently explore a few different aspects of
one thing. This is then mixed with incremental developments, which makes
for a dream-like environment, one in which the sounds assume a startling
physicality while at the same time seeming inexhaustible in character.
The pacing is in keeping with this, moving smoothly as it does from lulling to
edgily ambiguous. The production is done with delicacy and minimalist rigor,
and as with a stick or rock, it's consistent the entire way through. Indeed, that
it is so well organized in every regard only helps further the sense that all of
these pieces have emerged from a consistent and rigorous aesthetic.
The Wire (February 2008)
Suisei translates from the Japanese with a number of meanings. It could be
a comet, or the Japanese name for the planet Mercury, or an adjective for
"aquatic", particularly with reference to the strength of a river current. In the
case of Yui Onodera's album, the watery metaphors apply. Sourced from
field recordings and pump organ, Suisei is a meditative album which
transitions effectively between humble drips, wet smacks and lulling patter of
water tumbling through the landscape. Onodera doesn't pretend that his field
recording techniques enjoy the pristine fidelity of Chris Watson or a Douglas
Quin, rather his mottled sounds embrace the abstraction produced through
contact microphones and consumer-grade dictation mics. Sustained drones
from his pump organ buttress the quiet hypnosis of these field recordings,
thanks to the instrument's woozy oscillations. The organ's harmonics
gradually swell as ghostly slippages of sound descend gracefully into
compressed wintry din and aquatic percolations. (Jim Haynes)
Aquarius Records (January 2008)
Not much information to present about who Yui Onodera is. Nor is
there anything in the way of a conceptual framework to guide one
through this album beyond its sources from "environmental sound and
pump organ." Not that it really matters anyway, as Suisei is a gorgeous
album of darkly textured drones with parallels to Thomas Koner's
isolationist compositions or Keith Berry's precious deconstructions.
Wind, rain, and water all make themselves known in the collection of
field recordings, as does the pump organ, which reveals itself in
harmonic sustained tones with a spectral timbre (e.g. Niblock,
Radigue, Chalk, etc.). During a particular enigmatic episode, wooden
creaks and sodden groans duet with a motorized persistant soft-grind,
giving the impression that some unscrupulous machine is quietly
compacting sinews, meat, and bone. Strangely, it never sounds
macabre or unsettlingly grotesque; rather, these crunching textures
situate humbly next to a hypnotic wash of compressed static and
melancholic shadowy drone, which sublimely shift into a slippery
crescendo of grey massed sound. Very, very well done!
Touching Extremes (May 2008)
Sometimes I feel in dire trouble, cornered in the condition of finding words to
describe what is a relatively simple record that nevertheless touches certain
depths, which not many artists can manage to, their display of technical
prowess notwithstanding. In the case of Yui Onodera, a clue was reading the
“special thanks” to Mystery Sea’s boss Daniel Crokaert on the sleeve: where
this man is found, the presence of water is all but assured (and the
Japanese artist has releases out on that label, too - stay tuned). Indeed this
album is strongly based on different aquatic hues in various kinds of sonic
gradations and dripping intensity. Not only that, Onodera also made good
use of uncertainly definable “environmental sounds” - apparently slightly
treated, at least in well (in)determinate foggier sections - and splendid
ghostly emergences of his pump organ, whose static chords enter the
picture in sparse appearances, like a detached narrator would in a minimal
theatre performance where the audience understands what happens but
somehow still appreciates to be led amidst the subplots. The composer
succeeds in chipping the commonplace off the utilization of water as a
compositional means, an austere processing the key factor in creating a
natural path through which the piece slowly walks, delivered from useless
glittering clothes, extremely profound in its almost religious concoction of
deep-breath silent prayer and severe concentration. Elemental innocence
that doesn’t promise an easy penetrability. (Massimo Ricci)
Art Of Memory (November 2007)
So far, one of my favourite discs of 2007, simply beautiful and delicate,
produced and designed by Dale Lloyd, one of his (and/OAR) best yet.