Released on Wacoal Art Center’s NEWSIC label, Yoshiaki Ochi’s Natural Sonic shares some of the same magic heard in the music of fellow roster mates Yoshio Ojima, Motohiko Hamase, and Mich Live. This time the aural trick would be one of the most simple of them all. Largely composed, conceived, and performed on organic material — water, stone, found and created, etc. — Natural Sonic tries to draw out a ton of beauty and inventive experimentation from very earthly objects. It’s some of the beauty he would later provide to Miyako Koda’s wonderful Jupiter as well.

Yoshiaki Ochi’s work on Natural Sonic was largely derived from compositions he created as house performer and composer for the legendary Japanese fashion designer Issey Miyake. With a bit of outside help from his brother Yoshihisa, Natural Sonic was the interesting middle ground between experimental tribal music and Japanese environmental music.

For as many unplaceable wooden percussive exist on the album, sounds that mimic rain fall, bird song, and wordless vocal harmonizing take up equal sonic space. Whatever he didn’t have at hand, Yoshiaki would actually create, as art object and sound object, to go after a specific sound he wanted. Obviously, the lack of synthesizers is made up for a welcome exploration of the sonorities of these instruments. If you’re a huge fan of Geinoh Yamashirogumi’s Ecophony Gaia or Midori Takada’s Through The Looking Glass, Natural Sonic should sound of that lineage, albeit with a far more elemental stick.

The two tracks I’ve served up here give you a small representation of what’s in store but with a song simply called “Beat The Water”, the beauty is truly in the discovery. It’s all there in the title, but the joy is in how Yoshiaki pulses the music. He’d go on to do more contemporary ambient music but this still sounds far more timeless to my ear.

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