Masayoshi Fujita Stories

Masayoshi Fujita Stories
9
Berlin-based composer Masayoshi Fujita is known mostly for his electroacoustic collaboration with German electronic musician Jan Jelinek, as well as his work under the moniker El Fog. With Stories, Fujita presents an album of solo vibraphone compositions, set across eight tracks that hang together beautifully as a suite. As El Fog, Fujita blends his vibraphone playing with electronics and digital sound manipulation, but here he eschews the electronics in favour of raw vibraphone, and the results are stunning. The experimentation is still present, but in a more analog form, as Fujita employs a variety of unorthodox techniques, from bowing to using strings of beads and aluminum foil, to create unusual percussive and tonal effects. Stories creates a lush, emotive soundscape that ranges from the steady, forward rhythm of the aptly named "Snow Storm" to the mournful melancholy of "Story of Forest." Evoking scenes of natural beauty and balancing the inspiring with the not quite maudlin to create a perfect tension, Stories is one of most impressive albums of the year so far. This is highly recommended. (Flau)