Thursday, 13 June 2013


Wowee. Sometimes you can be surprised by what you like. That's why, I guess, it's probably quite a silly idea to say, "I like only this, that, and another genre" - because in reality you never really know what you could end up liking.

For instance, for people who like ham sandwiches: did you know you were going to like ham sandwiches from the very first bite of a ham sandwich that you ever took? Probably not. It's trial and error. A stream of recommendation and feedback that leads you as an individual on an exciting journey to new things.

So yeah, that's what I feel about this track I heard yesterday. It is by Yosi Horikawa, a Japanese producer based in Chiba. His roots are entirely in the DIY side of things - he started making music at a very young age (12 apparently!) recording all sorts of sounds in his bedroom, tapping on objects and using his voice. What started as a curiosity turned into a hobby and finally blossomed into a true talent, and a profession - he was, for instance, a participant in Red Bull Music Academy 2011, described as a "sound designer"; you can see why.

In this song, 'Wandering', Horikawa begins the track with a recording of footsteps crunching along a path and goes on to summon up all the ambient sound of a forest bursting with unseen life.

Birds trill as a backing to a storm of percussion. Some of it is mid-level and sonorous, some of it is trebly and frantic and beset with shakers. It is underpinned by one particularly gutsy kick that reverberates with punch. It is very tribal, like the introduction to some kind of war dance. After which everything turns peaceful. Warm synths flow in, wide and rich, lulling you to sleep whilst the forest sounds become all-encompassing, a tinkling backwards-sounding high-pitched noise glittering in and out. The percussion comes back, joined by that same glittering sound every now and again. It ends with the sound of what has always been there: the forest.

As far as the title goes, it could well be the soundtrack to wandering around a forest, with the tranquil middle section being the moment the titular wanderer discovers a peaceful clearing, away from the twisting gnarled paths where each new step treads new ground. A real inclusive sound that pulls you in to another world. Beautiful. But with a wild, infectious beat.

This comes from Yosi Horikawa's new album Vapor, which is out now on First Word Records. Stream it here.

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