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Seigo Aoyama On The Drift

On The Drift marks Tokyo musician Seigo Aoyama’s second full-length release and his return to Sheffield’s ambient mainstay, Audiobulb Records. Eleven tracks in total, the album lays out over an hour’s worth of deep-mind music.

Released: 10 February 2021
On The Drift

Of the album, Aoyama says he wanted to “flow and drift through the landscape like a cloud floating in the sky”. That cloud feels dependably British, as he flits between different moods and perspectives from track to track. He fleshes out a musical world understood in broad terms, a realm where the submerged reticence of ‘Sea Fret’ leads into the Reich-inspired xylophones of ‘Blur’.

While far-reaching in its scope, sweeping pianos, pulsating pads and recorded voice organise the album into something more cohesive. Its strongest tracks are those which treat these elements with space. ‘Head Over Heels’, in this way, contains all three motifs to great effect. Its uncluttered arrangement means the track rests in its droney, melodic emptiness. In this free space, it takes a step back, pauses and relishes in the vagueness of the scene it expresses.

While the album admires the natural world, its non-specific, personal field recordings do not transport the listener to places like ‘Constanța Beach’. Instead they work to let us share in the beauty Aoyama finds in the minutiae of nature. The pattering footsteps of the album’s close, ‘Incline’, achieve just that. The climbing track sounds like a dizzying, elongated appreciation of something as simple and inconsequential as the gradient of a hill.

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