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Seigo Aoyama - On the Drift [Audiobulb - 2021]

For his sophomore effort, Tokyo based sound designer/composer, Seigo Aoyama, drifts forth with a wonderfully diverse and dense ambient release, On the Drift. Coming from Audiobulb again, this release is long and certainly worth the time. Spread over eleven tracks, Aoyama's latest is a gorgeous soundscape that mixes the natural and artificial worlds and perfectly captures the dichotomy of our modern world.

The Earth is a wild place. From a farmhouse breaking the flow of a grassy plain to a dandelion growing out of the sidewalk crack in front of a skyscraper, the natural and man-made worlds collide in myriad ways. On the Drift manages to capture this forced symbiosis through its soft, synth drones and pianos working in conjunction with crispy, almost glitchy layers of electronics. Staring out the floor to ceiling glass of a modern kitchen, witnessing the diurnal signal of a sunrise, one is part of both worlds. Life is often seen as black and white, but it never is, and Aoyama's pieces here fill this space perfectly. Loaded with emotional cues, On the Drift puts sonically compiles the visual information of the human experience from waking with the sun, to the work day, to an evening decompressing. These are not put together in a story, but left spread for the listener to associate at his/her desire. Constructed with a definite familiarity, but shifted enough to be different, original, and very new, Aoyama's compositions not only mix natural and artificial, but also mix Eastern and Western aesthetics. Bridging many worlds at once, On the Drift manages to be everywhere at once, but yet feeling incredibly still. From a fixed viewpoint, the songs put the listener rooted into a spot and allow the landscape to shift around him/her. It's a truly wonderous effect and allows for a more laid back, easier listening experience.

Seigo Aoyama's On the Drift captures a fantastic planet with all of its complexities, and breaks it down into easy to digest, gorgeous, ambient pieces. Coming at it from various angles, Aoyama's take on things is delightfully askew, and its tangential moments create the perfect balance between traditional and experimental.. Long but worth repeated listens, On the Drift is a wonderful piece of modern soundscape art.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Paul Casey
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