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YOSHIO MACHIDA - HYPERNATURAL #3

Reviews



Stereo & Video (RU) - September 2009
Text by Sergey Oreshkin
http://www.stereo.ru

Stereo & Video, September 2009


Les Immortels (FR) - June 2009
Text by Jean-Paul Gavard-Perret
http://www.lesimmortels.com/blog/chronique-musicale/317/2009/06/27/yoshio-machida-hypernatural3-2008-believebaskaru/

On ne badine pas avec le vide...

Avec Hypernatural #3, Yoshio Machida termine sa trilogie commencée il y a dix ans. Ce dernier volet reste dans le registre électroacoustique d'une ambient très expérimentale aux accents aériens voire délétères (un peu trop fortement marqués) signe d'une électronica épurée à l'extrême en dépit de différents mixages complexes. Très influencée par la musique bruitiste (Pierre Schaeffer hier, Lionel Marchetti aujourd'hui) la musique de l'artiste japonais prend des couleurs plus éthérées et spiritualisantes que chez ses maîtres. Par exemple il n'hésite pas à faire intervenir des choeurs de soeurs bouddhistes sur un de ses morceaux.

Revisitant par l'électronique des sons tirés d'instruments acoustiques et par l'utilisation du field recordings, dans le dernier pan de son triptyque, l'élément de base est donné par le steel pan. Il s'agit d'une percussion caraïbe à la tonalité claire et métallique mais dont l'origine se perd par le traitement que Yoshio Machida lui fait subir. Certes on perçoit encore la sonorité claquante mais l'artiste la métamorphose afin de créer son propre univers par coupures, saturations et réverbérations. Il nous projette bien loin du triangle des Bermudes pour investir d'autres lieux moins géographiquement connotés.

L'utilisation du field recordings dans Hypernatural #3 devient parfois lourdingue. On se passerait des longs accompagnements de piaillements d'oiseaux sur " Hypernatural " ou du bruit des vagues sur " Scene27 : Symphony ". Parfois cependant la stratégie des collages est plus subtile. En particulier lorsque Yoshio Machida fait appel à des chants d'enfants sur fond de machines ou de tracteurs (dans " Scene05 : Bubbles ") et surtout lorsque l'artiste propose tout un montage en césures de bruits métalliques avec la participation de Aki Onda. Soudain la douceur n'a rien de mièvre et de contemplatif même s'il s'agit là de la tonalité d'ensemble de la trilogie.

Mais à caresser le presque rien, le japonais bascule parfois dedans et nous plonge dans une certaine lassitude qui fait de ce troisième opus une répétition des deux premiers : la force de l'habitude semble avoir gagné sur une véritable inspiration. L'artiste se contente de décliner des gammes qui font de la suggestion une forme d'effets ou de truquages. Le monde de l'indicible en ses sources sonores les plus infimes ne possède plus la force de radiations. Il se répand lentement à l'état de simples échos de ce que d'autres ont déjà exploré et de manière plus forte : on pense en particulier au travail autrement plus probant de Eric La Casa en France.

Trop fragile et indolent, Hypernatural #3, même s'il se veut engagé dans la lutte pour l'environnement déréalise trop son propos. On reste de fait dans un univers de no man's land. Privé de corps cet ensemble est aussi privé d'âme. L'artiste a beau préciser : " la chose importante n'est pas simplement d'écouter les sons, mais aussi de sentir les choses qui s'y cachent derrière ", son électroacoustique nous laisse pour le moins dubitatifs...


Kathodik (IT) - March 2009
Text by Alfio Castorina
http://www.kathodik.it/modules.php?name=Reviews&rop=showcontent&id=3558

L'esplorazione dell'esistenza attraverso la correlazione più o meno tangibile tra simboli e significati, la riflessione sulla presunzione della scienza di poter domare ogni aspetto della natura, stanno alla base della trilogia hypernatural. Un discorso, musicalmente un collage tra field recordings e tecniche di audio processing, iniziato dall'artista audio-visivo giapponese Yoshio Machida nel 1997 e che adesso, superate una serie di problematiche relative alla pubblicazione discografica, giunge al suo atto finale. Già collaboratore di personaggi illustri della scena avant giapponese, quali Yoshihide Otomo, Sachiko M, Merzbow, Aki Onda e Toshimaru Nakamura, persegue un discorso molto personale, in cui l'esperienza musicale, ma anche il legame di questa con i titoli, diventa una metafora, la cui interpretazione è delegata alla sensibilità e al vissuto dell'ascoltatore. Queste le intenzioni. E' però lo stesso Machida ad affermare in un'intervista rilasciata alla rivista Tokafi, che la sua opera può essere apprezzata in due modi: a livello razionale e a livello puramente intuitivo. Se i primi due volumi erano dedicati uno alla "memoria nell'Asia orientale" e l'altro alle "esistenze invisibili", il tema del capitolo conclusivo è l'oblio, processo positivo secondo l'artista, poiché "forza" in grado di generare nuovi mondi dalle macerie della memoria. Processo di perdita che si avverte nella prima traccia Ocean Of Memory: patterns max/msp in sgretolamento, abbozzi di melodie imprigionate dentro il crash di un sistema. Interferenze radio, bleeps, glitches, loops, e voci umane rubate e ora ridotte a fantasmi lasciati a vagare tra sequenze di bits invece per Camouflage, dalla consistenza complessiva vibrante e nervosa che riesce a distendersi solo negli ultimissimi istanti. Riflessive e malinconiche, le progressioni minimali di Siesta, mentre la title track, indugia in una stasi rarefatta, quasi un quadro sonoro, in cui frammenti di vita all'aperto sono incorniciati da un sottile drone raga. Non male.


The Sound Projector (UK) - November 2008
Text by Ed Pinsent
http://www.thesoundprojector.com

The Sound Projector, November 2008


The Milk Factory (UK) - October 2008
Text by themilkman
http://www.themilkfactory.co.uk/st/2008/10/yoshio-machida-hypernatural-3-baskaru

Yoshio Machida began working on his Hypernatural series in 1997. The first volume in the series was self-released two years later, and the second came out in 2001, on German label Softl Music. Since the Tokyo-based artist has been busy with other experimental projects and has released a handful of records on his own imprint, Amorfon, but this year sees the third and final part of the series.

The first Hypernatural release focused on memory in Eastern Asia, while the second investigated the concepts of transparency, unconsciousness and invisible existence. With "Hypernatural #3", Machida turns his attention to oblivion as a one of the many processes of life. Creating sonic pieces from field recordings, electronics and acoustic instruments, Machida presents a captivating journey through tightly held organic sound formations which incorporate essentially natural elements, which, although heavily processed, retain some elements of their original aspect.

Machida's elegant textured soundscapes appear prematurely aged and roughened, often resulting in the pieces sounding grainy and slightly out of focus, as if decay was attacking their very core. Pieces such as "Ocean Of Memory", with its ever-changing treated steel pan, drowned in pools of echo and distortions, "Scene 16: Retrospective Future", full of complex sonic variations, or "Scene 27: Symphony", which at times evokes a hugely amplified ice melting process, appear particularly distressed, while the thirteen minute epic title track, which closes, goes through various phases of decomposition, yet appears strangely uniform thoughout, as a metallic tone goes in and out of focus while forest noises float above. It is a different process that is expose here; as components are progressively ground down to nothing, similar ones take over and the process is repeated with almost mechanical precision.

Elsewhere, Machida deals with seemingly more consistent forms, especially on the rarefied "Silhouette" or "Siesta", but here again it is the sensation of progressive loss and ineluctable slip toward emptiness that prevails. Yet, Machida doesn't expose these as sombre and fatalist moments. While it is in essence destructive, decay is part of life as much as conception. On this record, Machida uses sounds in various stages of erosion and collects every usable substance to generate new structures. It is, after all, the very point of decay, to destroy the old and frail and fuel the new and fresh. On "Camouflage", and even more so on "Scene 05: Bubbles", Machida uses fragments of conversations and field recordings extensively, to the point where music is almost entirely absent of the latter.

With this album, Yoshio Machida has created a strangely compelling piece of work. The attention to detail and the subtle relevance of the treatment applied to the various sound sources serve the compositions rather well, and while the leading concept is somewhat abstract, it transpires through the work and becomes more concrete as the record progress. While it could at first sound like an obscure and arid record, "Hypernatural #3" is actually very much at human scale and deserves to be heard. (4.1/5)


Ink 19 (US) - October 2008
Text by Aaron Shaul
http://www.ink19.com/issues/october2008/musicReviews/musicM/yoshioMachida.html

Yoshio Machida's "Hypernatural #3" is the last act in a trilogy of "electroacoustic collages." I haven't had an opportunity to check out the first two installments in this decade-spanning series, but this release at least lives up to its name.

Machida's inspiration this time around is oblivion, the idea that destruction and creation share the same defining lines. Oblivion as a theme conjures up images of noisy, post-industrial keyboard erosion, but Machida's sound is surprisingly more delicate and playful. He uses the sounds of the natural world and subtly tweaks them to mimic electronics and vice versa.

There's much more attention paid to mechanical tones like soft percolations, subway track clacking, and the chaotic and haphazard radio tuner search through white noise on early tracks like "Oceans of Memory" than there is on later tracks. Even on these numbers, though, Machida's instruments take sounds of the modern world and spit them back out as gnarled versions of city life.

The disc's two best tracks come toward the end. "Scene 27: Symphony" begins with field recordings of waves crashing on the shore and flows slowly into limpid pools of rippling synths, broken up with glitchy electronic waves. The closer "Hypernatural" sutures a never-ending cello drone with the morning calls of birds. It's a very organic scene, until Machida masks the avian chatter with varying levels of metallic treatments. The transformation is almost akin to circuit-bending improvisation. Instead of signaling the coming of more ominous, cloudy drones, the focus softens and quiets down in a six-minute fade out. All told, this album might be the most idyllic ode to oblivion ever committed to tape.


Mixmag (UK) - October 2008
Text by Joe Muggs
http://mixmag.net

Mixmag, October 2008


Musique Machine (BE) - September 2008
Text by Erwin Michelfelder
http://www.musiquemachine.com/reviews/reviews_template.php?id=1977

Yoshio Machida's Hypernatural series is, in his own words, "a collage of sound parts used as meanings and symbols, and an endeavor to express the whole theme of 'nature' through correlations between every image and title, between pieces". The self-released first volume in the series had to do with "memory in Eastern Asia", while the second volume was meant to relate to "transparent existence". This third volume in the series is about "oblivion". Machida believes that oblivion has a postive aspect in nature. This is because it is a part of the natural world, which over time creates changes in the world. Having said all of that, the artist certainly must feel a deep spiritual connection to the pieces archived on "Hypernatural #3". Yet without the liner notes to guide one down the path, it would be in the least very difficult for one to surmise the theme. These pieces include multiltudes of interesting sounds, and on their own are entertaining, lively, and seamlessly assembled. Yet it's not always easy to detect the naturalist aspect.

The album does include some sounds obviously sourced from nature, whether it be birdsong, insects or water, which under the circumstances is very fitting. Other pieces sound sourced from musical instruments, and appear to be heavily manipulated via computer. It's a mystery as to how these pieces connect to the theme; perhaps the idea is to reflect the randomness of nature by assembling the album in a purposefully fitful manner.

Whatever the reasoning, the music stands for itself as high quality ambience in the very least. It's not ambient in the sense that it works only as background music. Active listening is required to pick up on the various sound sources. The pieces which include outside recordings are especially involving; recordings of Buddhist Nuns are blended beautifully into more difficult to identify field recordings. "Scene 27: Symphony" takes a sparkling recording of breaking waves, and slowly transforms itself into a glitchy keyboard piece.

The Hypernatural series is obviously a labor of love for Yoshio Machida. Though he treads several paths well rutted by others, he does so with enough care and enthusiasm to separate himself from the pack. In the long haul, it's worthy of the time you may need to dissect it. (4/5)


Neural.It (IT) - September 2008
Text by Aurelio Cianciotta
http://www.neural.it/sound/2008/09/yoshio_machida_hypernatural_3.phtml

This is the third and final episode of the Hypernatural series, which is inspired by research into Far Eastern organic sounds. It is distinguished by sensitive audio "transparencies", obtained through the interweaving of recordings, which are often ethereal and abstract. Yoshio Machida is incredibly skilled in combining and manipulating these auditory "evanescences", adding a wider harmonic audio "substance". Applying this approach to quiet, but nevertheless highly evocative transitions requires an accomplished technique. It is a composing process that has been improved over the last ten years, beginning with DIY production and continuing its evolution with the German label Softlmusic in 2002. The atmospheric resonances are touching, as ephemeral interruptions, with notes rising intimately and singularly, until a complex and continuous flow of iterations and rhythmic upheavals is built, with an effective orchestration in a global glitch. They are fragments of a gentle and hesitant poetic, but not really an insipid one. Machida states: "Oblivion is the characteristic of the correlation between matter and time. Oblivion has a positive aspect. It appears as a natural phenomenon, in the passage of time, and becomes a factor that makes a new world - Nature consists in a myriad of different "memory/oblivion" cycles." He is apparently poised between Zen philosophy and a study of reactions applied to specific physical models of alternation, with an approach that is much less romanticized and "naive" than one may think at first glance.


Musica (IT) - September 2008
Text by Claudio Baroni
http://blog.libero.it/musica2/5520978.html

Scrivere che l'ascolto di questo lavoro sia di facile fruizione sarebbe una bugia imperdonabile. Sicuramente ci vuole una forte dose di concentrazione per gustarsi appieno i cinquanta minuti di "Hypernatural #3". Il giapponese Yoshio Machida (mio coscritto, leva 1967) è il valente autore di questo compact. Artista minimalista, il poliedrico Machida assembla musiche elettroacustiche che hanno il profumo del mare che compare in copertina. Segmenti che ispirano floride magie. Arpeggi di basso e piano che navigano docili, pronti per trovare un porto sicuro. Onde che scheggiano bianchi sassi e spiagge dorate. Tramonti che non lasciano spazio a ricordi terreni, questa è l'arte cristallina di Yoshio Machida. Da prendere a scatola chiusa.


Geiger (DK) - September 2008
Text by Jakob Baekgaard
http://www.geiger.dk/anmeldelser/anmeldelse.php?id=3101

[...]

En på sin vis lige så ambitiøs udforskning af forholdet mellem natur og lyd som på Time Frost, finder man hos Yoshio Machida, der med Hypernatural #3 fuldfører en trilogi, hvis andre dele, meget logisk, er Hypernatural #2 og Hypernatural #1. Nummer tre handler ifølge Machida om forglemmelse:

"Forglemmelse er karakteristisk for relationen mellem materie og tid. Forglemmelsen rummer et positivt aspekt. Den forekommer som et naturligt faenomen i tidens overgang og bliver en faktor, der skaber en ny verden. Naturen består af en myriade af forskellige cyklusser bygget op omkring erindring/forglemmelse. At forudsige noget er ikke nemt. Fordi denne meget komplicerede natur fundamentalt set er en 'flerdimensional' vaeren kan alting ske."

Fornemmelsen af, at alting kan ske bliver godt udtryk på Hypernatural #3. Landskaber af lyd skabes og forgår i en cyklus af glemsel og erindring. Bølger bruser, børn leger. Fugle synger, maskiner summer. En total stilhed saetter momentant ind blot for at blive afløst af knitrende støj. Ansatser til noget, der kan fortolkes som rytmer og melodier, afløses af rene, konkrete blokke af lyd. Organisk flydende kaeder erstattes af opklippede lyde. Det er en proces, hvor lytteren hele tiden er sat i relation til udvekslingen mellem det organiske og maskinelle, der udvikler sig i forglemmelsens metaformose. En storslået udforskning af naturens stof.


Signal To Noise (US) - September 2008
Text by Richard Moule
http://www.signaltonoisemagazine.com

Signal To Noise, September 2008


WHITE_LINE (UK) - September 2008
Text by Baz Nichols
http://whiteline1.wordpress.com/2008/09/14/yoshio-machida-hypernatural-3-cd-baskaru/

A familiar name on the avant garde scene, Machida's works have graced many festivals, and were given the dubious honour of being included in David Toop's "Haunted Weather" book a couple of years back. As the title suggests, "Hypernatural #3" is the third part of a trilogy of recordings, thematically assembled and spanning some 11 years.

Anyone who includes references to Russell Mills, Rupert Sheldrake and Lyall Watson in their sleeve notes is going to command my full attention. The theme of this set of collages and assemblages relates to the concept of Oblivion, (note the capital "O") and opening with a full on audio cut-up indicates that Machida means business. Everything goes into the mix here, from a diversity of sources including radio, TV, possibly Vinyl and live recordings. Machida sets his stall out early, in his own words... "oblivion has a positive aspect: it appears as a natural phenomenon in the passage of time and becomes a factor in creating new worlds..." indeed it is with that impending sense of impermanence that our lives become more enriched, and somehow more urgent. For any of you out there that just like a "nice tune", switch your browser to MTV, this is not music for the sake of music, this work has a resonance and a poetic meaning that transcends mere categories. The track titles suggest everything, "Ocean of Memory", with its flickering , reflective sampling, and "Camouflage", or perhaps "Silhouette"... all more than hint at a sense of transitoriness, and "Retrospective Future" reminds me of Phillip Glass with its skippy, recurrent themes that slither and slide in and out of view. "Hypernatural #3" sways between being intensely irritating and serenely beautiful in equal measure, a true work of art in the sense that it is both thought provoking and by its very nature hinting that we are all on an uneasy road to oblivion, leaving only a footprint, a shadow or silhouette, or in the case of Machida and partner Aki Onda, an auditory vapour trail in the form of "Hypernatural #3". Serious listening for serious listeners, and not for the faint hearted – I highly recommend.


The Wire (UK) - September 2008
Text by David Stubbs
http://www.thewire.co.uk

The Wire, September 2008


Smallfish Records (UK) - September 2008
Text by Mike Oliver
http://www.smallfish.co.uk/shop/release/?cat=KARU10

Yoshio Machida's own Amorfon label is a fascinating imprint. From experimental electronics right through to Eastern European folk music, his influences are diverse to say the least. And with this fabulous release on France's Baskaru label he's put together a really solid collection of tracks. This is the kind of album I tend to listen to over and over again so that I can really absorb what's going on and enjoy the depth of the compositions. From playful, melodic electronics (a la Plop, you might say) through to dense textural pieces which bring to mind artists such as Tim Hecker... there's a real feeling of depth here which is amply illustrated by the shorter interlude tracks which use field recordings to accentuate the musical nature of the longer pieces. There are some more experimental moments, granted, but on the whole this is a mellow and easy-going listen that's packed full of goodness. My advice is to check it out. Marvellous stuff yet again.


Bodyspace (PT) - September 2008
Text by Miguel Arsénio
http://www.bodyspace.net/artigos.php?rub_id=132

Sem deixar de incidir nas mesmas linguagens, Yoshio Machida é figura da música improvisada japonesa que dificilmente repisa terreno. Com a trilogia que termina em "Hypernatural #3", Machida prova que o seu alcance enquanto músico vai muito além da acústica pura do amorphone, vasilha de metal personalizada, que domina "Naada" e grande parte de "Infinite Flowers" (que contava com a participação dos Minamo). Yoshio Machida, sempre atento às estações e aos seus diferentes ciclos, procurou, com o conceito Hypernatural, transpor para a música as possibilidades quase infinitas dos vários meios. Depois de um primeiro volume dedicado à "memória no Oriente" e de um segundo incidente na "existência transparente", "Hypernatural #3" dedica-se ao "oblívio" e a como esse se sente na natureza, seja nas ondas que esquecem a sua contagem ou na mutação sofrida por um alimento ao longo da sua cadeia. Com isso, fica o caminho aberto para exercícios caleidoscópicos de electro-acústica, inserida num formato de diário-sonoro próximo dos que conhecemos a Yuko Nexus6 ou Aki Onda (guru da manipulação analógica de fitas que, por aqui, cede préstimos a uma "Camouflage" saturada de ruído, embora não completamente vedada a infiltrações de melodia em cacos). Sem exigir mais do que dois auscultadores, "Hypernatural #3" conserva a aparência de tapete de Aladino com a rota de voo estipulada pela perspectiva intrinsecamente naturalista de Yoshio Machida.


De:Bug (DE) - September 2008
Text by PP
http://www.de-bug.de

De:Bug, September 2008


Touching Extremes (IT) - August 2008
Text by Massimo Ricci
http://spazioinwind.libero.it/extremes/touchinghome.htm

Third volume of the "Hypernatural" series, started in 1997 and to date culpably ignored by your reviewer, this CD from Japanese composer Machida identifies oblivion as its core notion. "Nature consists of a myriad of different memory-oblivion circles", the author writes before applying a knowledgeable touch of magic to a cycle of field recordings, mostly captured while involved in international cooperation in locations such as Tanzania and Myanmar. Machida knows his tools inside and out, working with steel pans and regular instruments besides Max/MSP and Live4, being perfectly conscious of how often a circumstance should be recurring in a mix, applying the right processes for a thorough decontextualization of the same, the powerful effects of a source rendered unrecognizable at the basis of the whole. This music is not what we're used to call "evocative", though, as the composer largely (but not exclusively) prefers suggesting a primary shape, a morphing glimpse of audio non-verité that must somehow be finished by the listener's imaginativeness. The upshot is an electroacoustic blend where material foundation and inspirational emotion work in concert to aliment the will of finding smoothness in what appears unreachable at a first glance, that zone of our brain which we never visit but sometimes spits out, unsolicited, painful recollections of something that wasn't actually experienced. Sounds acknowledged yet unfamiliar, an abnormal disorientation that's also among the best places to be lost in.


Textura (CA) - August 2008
Text by Ron Schepper
http://www.textura.org/reviews/giesela_riek_whetham_machida.htm

[...]

"Hypernatural #3" is in many ways a natural complement to "Islands". The concluding part of sound artist (and Steel Pan player) Machida's electro-acoustic trilogy, "Hypernatural #3" departs from the thematic foci of volumes one ("memory in Eastern Asia") and two ("transparent existence") by taking "oblivion" as its theme. This is oblivion approached not as annihilation but as a natural phenomenon that concerns the ongoing transformation of all things, hence the material's shared focus on human and natural phenomena. The eight pieces strike contrasting balances between musical and field elements: in some cases the former are strongly present, in others the latter dominate, and in some Machida combines field recordings and treated instrument sounds. The musical potential of a natural element is exploited in "Silhouette" where wind tones form a natural backdrop to the ambient setting's muffled tones. In the more naturalistic "Scene05: Bubbles," the distant sound of Buddhist chanting is juxtaposed to a machine's engine rattle, bird chirps, and muffled voices. In "Camouflage," on the other hand, taped conversations are so squelched by distortion and interference the voices sometimes resemble the wailing cry of an elephant, while "Ocean of Memory" assumes the form of a jaunty whirligig that dances through a shredding pool of crackle and dust (strangely, that same whirligig later re-emerges alongside crashing waves and gurgling water in "Scene27: Symphony") and, over the course of the piece's nine-minute duration, scatters into prismatic flickers.


Heathen Harvest (US) - August 2008
Text by Andreas Faust
http://www.heathenharvest.com/article.php?story=20080728141127597

The third in a trilogy of sound collages, this volume focusses specifically on the theme of oblivion. The artist, Yoshio Machida, sees oblivion as having positive aspects, however: "it appears as a natural phenomenon in the passage of time and becomes a factor in creating new worlds. Nature consists of a myriad of different memory-oblivion cycles." Absolutely. So how is this reflected in the music?

A self-described minimalist, Machida has made extensive field recordings while travelling internationally. The music itself is a combination of these field recordings plus the treated sounds of real instruments, including gongs and steel drums. The result is actually more musical than it sounds from my description, albeit in a minimalist sense, of course. I actually find this album relaxing, even pleasant to listen to – whether or not that is the author's intention is another thing entirely. Track four contains sutras from Buddhist nuns in Myanmar, but whether these are included for spiritual or merely aesthetic reasons is unclear. The chanting creates a slightly sinister effect, however. The track doesn't quite fit in with the rest of the album. On the title track, by contrast, the sounds of nature are underscored by a dark droning buzz and sigh of strings, this in a way expressing the "correlation between matter and time" that is the artist's definition of oblivion – the bird sounds (recorded in Tanzania) no doubt representing matter, and the drones representing time. Things go the way of all flesh, but new worlds are constantly created. Is there something beyond this, though? Can one take memory beyond oblivion? Can one take the face of one's beloved through the frozen barrier of death, and thus conquer Time? That question admittedly falls outside the scope of Machida's work.

Listed are several figures who have inspired Machida. The only one I'm familiar with is Rupert Sheldrake, whose theories on 'morphic resonance' and the extended mind are well known and controversial. Scientists like Sheldrake are a refreshing contrast to the Richard Dawkins materialist types, and Machida's music, too, is a welcome contrast to the more nihilist breeds of 'experimental' musician. In spite of my almost total lack of interest in this kind of music, I like this artist. There is a real sincerity about his work, and also something about it that does indeed seem to transcend both memory and oblivion. Despite the awkward song titles there is nothing at all pretentious about this album, and its atmospheres come straight from the artist's soul.


RifRaf (BE) - July/August 2008
Text by Fabrice Vanoverberg
http://www.rifraf.be

RifRaf, July/August 2008


EtherReal (FR) - July 2008
Text by Fabrice Allard
http://www.etherreal.com/spip.php?article2775

Yoshio Machida, artiste japonais dont nous parlons pour la première fois sur ces pages, vient de sortir le dernier volet de sa trilogie Hypernatural, initiée en 1999. L'artiste oeuvre dans un registre ambient expérimental, notamment en retraitant par l'électronique des sons issus d'instruments acoustiques ou de field recordings.

Sur ce troisième volet, sa principale source sonore sont des steel pan, percussion originaire des Caraïbes au son clair et coloré. Source sonore devenu matière malléable sous les effets du laptop, les steel pan deviennent parfois méconnaissables. On retrouve l'aspect métallique, la clarté, mais le japonais opère tous les brouillages sonores à sa disposition pour créer autre chose. Fracture, syncope, reverse, saturation, grésillements, ruptures, pour obtenir au final un album post-Fennesz ("Scene27 : Symphony"). En effet, une fois la guitare remplacée par les steel pan, le travail que Yoshio Machida propose sur cet album se rapproche du style de l'autrichien ("Ocean Of Memory") sans pour autant être aussi systématique.

On retrouve bien sûr ce qui faisait déjà partie intégrante de ses précédents travaux, à savoir l'utilisation de field recordings, que ce soit de manière très classique comme l'accompagnement de piaillements d'oiseaux sur les 13 minutes bucoliques du caudal "Hypernatural" ou le flux et reflux de la mer en guise d'introduction sur "Scene27 : Symphony", ou dans un style plus engagé comme ces chants d'enfants qui semblent provenir d'une école sur fond de bruit mécanique de ce que l'on pense être des machines agricoles ("Scene05 : Bubbles"). Le traitement de ces enregistrements d'ambiance donne des résultats plus complexes, avec des voix brouillées, un son haché, un montage fracturé, des crissements métalliques sur le bien nommé "Camouflage" avec la participation de Aki Onda. L'ensemble s'enveloppe petit à petit d'un drone cristallin et de crissements numériques qui apportent douceur, cohésion et subtilités mélodiques.

Doux et contemplatif "Hypernatural #3" est un album qui invite à prendre le temps, rester les yeux dans le vague en regardant les reflets du soleil sur la mer ("Scene16 : Retrospective Future"), et sentir le temps s'arrêter de tourner au fil de "Silhouette". Beau, tout simplement.


Elegy (FR) - July 2008
Text by wqw...
http://www.elegy.fr

Elegy, July 2008


Gaz-Eta (PL) - July 2008
Text by Tom Sekowski
http://www.gaz-eta.vivo.pl/gaz-eta/recenzje/gazeta.php?nr=66&id=s_22

The world of multi-instrumentalist Yoshio Machida is a multi-faceted one. While he's been known to do amazing work on steel pans, he also plays a multitude of other instruments. His latest release "Hypernatural # 3", which sees him complete a trilogy, has Machida playing field recordings, Max/MSP, piano and bass. Sounds are delicate and nearly everything is simply hinted at. Through much of the album, I got the impression many of the sounds were records being played backwards at half-speed. Regardless, crackling noises, the pensive sounds which accompany this recording, it's Machida's field work that sets the record apart. From the serene waves crashing on the shore on "Scene 27: Symphony", to the melodies of the birds on "Hypernatural", the sounds seem to co-exist with natural. As if by some supernatural force, as the sounds infiltrate the system, the listener becomes one with the music. Absolutely gorgeous stuff!


Blow Up (IT) - June 2008
Text by G. Dal Soler
http://www.blowupmagazine.com

Blow Up, June 2008


OOR (NL) - May 2008
Text by René Passet
http://www.oor.nl/albums_details.asp?id=5672&albumType=1

OOR, May 2008


Octopus (FR) - May 2008
Text by Fabrice Vanoverberg
http://www.octopus-enligne.com/template.php?css=sommaire&page=oursinsc&num=855

Telle la montée d'adrénaline dans un titre lambda de Mogwai en 1997, la progression du label electronica Baskaru est fulgurante. Déjà complice de la sortie du magnifique "Long, Lointain" de Gabriel Hernandez – dites GoGooo – le label français propose cette fois le troisième volume – ô combien réussi – de la trilogie Hypernatural du Japonais Yoshio Machida (né en 1967, pour la petite histoire). D'une stupéfiante beauté sonore, "Ocean of Memory" décline les moments fuyants d'un Philip Glass passé à la machette de la digitalisation, cela n'exclut nullement la tentative mélodique, "Camouflage" ne résiste pas – nous non plus – au plaisir subtil de la transfiguration fenneszienne (on pense au Venice du compositeur autrichien) mise à l'épreuve de Janek Schaefer, le tout dans de fascinants (le terme est souvent galvaudé, qu'importe) collages où les field recordings ne servent pas de prétexte à une ambient dénaturée et a-musicale. Profondément inspirée d'une musique concrète qui devrait autant aux précurseurs (Pierre Schaeffer) qu'aux plus récents travaux d'un Lionel Marchetti, tout en étant incroyablement porteuse d'une démarche quasi-spirituelle (à l'image de la sensibilité unique des ces nonnes bouddhistes sur "Bubbles"), la musique de ce disque absolument exemplaire fera voguer à l'horizon de l'océan les esprits libérés de toute souffrance existentielle, rêvassant d'un monde où les crochets de pêche ne serviraient plus – comme dans le terrifiant film The Isle de Kim Ki-Duk – à l'automutilation. Disque magnifique.


Octopus (FR) - May 2008
Text by Gérard Nicollet
http://www.octopus-enligne.com/template.php?css=sommaire&page=oursinse#1

Entre ambient et électroacoustique, l'artiste sonore et joueur de steelpan Yoshio Machida poursuit son exploration d'une nature revisitée. Comme dans les deux opus précédents de la série Hypernatural, il offre sa vision musicale d'un monde dont chacun des éléments recèle une symbolique sonore cachée. Dans cet effort pour rendre audible ce qui ne l'est pas, le son prend tantôt une dimension concrète, presque palpable ("Scene 05"), tantôt s'aventure vers une ambient aquatique ("Scene 07"). A grand renfort de collages, de sons naturels et de bidouillages numériques, la musique de Yoshio Machida semble quelquefois hésiter sur la direction à prendre, entre pur field recordings ou composition plus élaborée. Et c'est sans doute cette ambiguïté qui fait la faiblesse de cet enregistrement qui par ailleurs contient quelques vraies réussites, dont l'éthéré "Silhouette" en est un des exemples les plus marquants.


Bad Alchemy (DE) - May 2008
Text by ???
http://www.badalchemy.de

Bad Alchemy, May 2008


Benzine Magazine + ONDEFIXE (FR) - May 2008
Text by Mathias Kusnierz
http://www.benzinemag.net:80/2008/05/13/yoshio-machida-–-hypernatural-3/
http://ondefixe.over-blog.com/article-19690960.html

Avec "Hypernatural #3", Yoshio Machida met un terme à une trilogie qui l'aura fait connaître des amateurs d'électronica douce, acoquinée aux manipulations électroacoustiques et aux accents éthérés.

Dans ses meilleurs moments, "Hypernatural #3" fait la part belle aux collages et aux hybridations sonores, comme sur "Scene16 : Retrospective Future" ou sur "Hypernatural". Le field recording y est ainsi à l'honneur, qui s'invite à plusieurs reprises sur le disque pour offrir des aérations, des plages de liberté où les machines s'ouvrent au foisonnement profus de ce qui vit et bruisse hors du home studio.

L'album passe ainsi sans crier gare d'une option à l'autre, d'un style à son contraire, cherchant à dérouter l'auditeur pour mieux le séduire. Opération de toute manière presque gagnée d'avance, tant "Hypernatural #3" ne quitte jamais l'horizon pop sur le fond duquel se déploie son écriture, privilégiant un mode mineur sans gravité et la légèreté sautillante devenue la quasi marque de fabrique de l'électronica japonaise lorsqu'aux agressions noise elle préfère, comme ici, la délicatesse.

C'est probablement la limite d'un disque comme "Hypernatural #3" ainsi que des légions de disques qui lui ressemblent de près ou de loin : son relatif classicisme laptop, son choix de la tranquillité, de la sérénité, de la finesse et d'une élégance qui voudraient être une plus-value poétique, mais qui risquent toujours de devenir un automatisme et de finir par tourner en rond (à l'instar de ces notes de steelpan en reverse, qui donnent ce son caractéristique de la production de Machida et de ses confrères). De poésie véritable, "Hypernatural #3" en serait plein à craquer s'il consentait à délaisser les sentiers déjà bien connus pour emprunter, en aventurier, de plus surprenants chemins de traverse. (7.5/10)


D-Side (FR) - May 2008
Text by Jean-François Micard
http://www.d-side.org

D-Side, May 2008


Goon (DE) - May 2008
Text by Jens Pacholsky
http://goon-magazin.de/index.php/2008/05/17/yoshio-machida-hypernatural/#nav

Die Schnittstelle zwischen dem Künstl(er)ischen und dem Natürlichen ist seit Anbeginn ein verzwicktes Feld des Künstlerinteresses. Immerhin steht die Position des Menschen in der sich stetig ändernden Welt auf dem Spiel. Yoshio Machida tastet sich seit elf Jahren mit seiner "Hypernatural"-Trilogie an diese Stelle des Austausches. 1999 erschien seine "Hypernatural #1", welche sich der Erinnerung in Ostasien zuwandte, während er zwei Jahre später Transparenz, Unterbewusstsein und den Zauber des unsichtbar Existierenden klanglich erforschte. Auf dem abschliessenden dritten Teil betrachtet der 41jährige Japaner nun das Vergessen, das für ihn vor allem eine faszinierende Quelle des Neuanfangs darstellt. Dieses Vergessen dürfte sich insbesondere auf das Wissen der Klangquelle beziehen, denn all die kleinen gläsernen Töne, die Yoshio Machida zerschneidet, loopt, zieht und zerrt, entstammen keinen verflixten Maschinen und auch keiner Akustikgitarre (wie man an vielen Stellen meinen könnte), sondern Gongs und Steel Drums. "Hypernatural #3" muss sich aber der Erinnerung stellen, denn es hat in seiner Bearbeitungstechnik stark etwas von früheren Oval-Arbeiten. Gerade durch das digitalen Klacken der Klang-Taktungen und Schnitte, das bei Oval bei aller Avantgarde und Klangverstrickung einen spannenden Drive erzeugen konnte, wird man gegen Machidas Intention ganz bewusst erinnert. Der Japaner hält die Soundnetze ebenso filigran. Er lässt nur einen Hauch zu, positioniert die digitalen Störungen in Field Recordings von Wellenschlägen, Kieselrollen und Frühlingswäldern. Das hat noch immer seine Schönheit und lebt bei Machida insbesondere durch die sehr klaren Klänge und Kompositionen. Nichtsdestotrotz fehlen für eine angenommen dynamische und sich fortwährend ändernde Welt weitestgehend die Seitensprünge, Brüche und Überraschungen – wie sie im abschliessenden "Hypernatural" durch herumflatternde Vögel rein zufällig entstehen. So beginnt Machida sein Album ausgerechnet mit dem elegischen, repetitiven "Ocean Of Memory", einem Sinnbild für das Kreisen um die immer selben Gedanken, bei dem das Vergessen, welches Machida evoziert, ausgerechnet das Hören erfasst. Nach neun Minuten erwacht man plötzlich und ist überrascht, noch immer zuzuhören. Das Verändern und Vergessen alter Strukturen sowie das Injizieren seiner Gedankenspiele begeht Machida zwar sehr detailversessen, klingt aber doch noch immer nach intellektuellem Sounddesign, das vielmehr den Menschen in der Musik zur Disposition stellt, als mit neuen Gedanken die Künstlich-Natürlich-Frage auch nur zu streifen. Am Ende sind es zwei Ohren gegen einen Klang, mehr muss auch nicht sein.


Gonzo Circus (BE) - May 2008
Text by PV
http://www.gonzocircus.com

Gonzo Circus, May 2008


Loop (CL) - May 2008
Text by Guillermo Escudero
http://www.loop.cl/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=426&Itemid=27

"Hypernatural #3" is part of a trilogy of electroacoustic works that started with the self-release in 1999 of volume 1 about "memory in Eastern Asia"; Volume 2 was released by Softl Music in 2001 and the theme was "transparent existence". Now is the time for volume 3 which was released on Baskaru label and is about "oblivion".
I guess that "oblivion" is also about memory since there are in this album many passages of field recordings from Burma, Japan and Tanzania.
Alongwith these recordings Yoshio also use a laptop with some software design, steel pan, piano and bass, creating digital soundscapes.
The combination of field recordings and computer music is amazing like the wave sound from the see on "Scene 27 Symphony" and the bird songs on the last track of the album "Hypernatural" that in the beginning these birds sound natural but a while after are processed and they sound like sine waves.
I would say that "oblivion" becomes a memory which is in the subconscious.


Blow Up (IT) - April 2008
Text by Leandro Pisano
http://www.blowupmagazine.com

Blow Up, April 2008


The Vibes (IT) - April 2008
Text by Vito Camarretta
http://www.thevibes.net/rec2008/hyper3.html

Ci sono voluti quasi dieci anni per la chiusura della trilogia Hypernatural, cominciata nel "lontano" 1999 con il primo volume - interamente autoprodotoo e ispirato ai suoni dell'Estremo Oriente -, considerato dal noto editorialista di Wire, David Toop, uno dei dischi più rappresentativi della cosiddetta musica generativa, e proseguita nel 2002 con il secondo volume, pubblicato dalla tedesca Softl Music - incentrato sui concetti della trasparenza (beninteso, non di quella bancaria!!!), dell'inconscio e dell'esistenza invisibile -, ma alla fine un colpo di coda dell'etichetta francese Baskaru chiude il ciclo di gingilli elettroacustici dell'ingegnoso performer giapponese Yoshio Machida, dando alle stampe il terzo volume senza lesinare elogi ed encomi di sorta, discreto assemblaggio di registrazioni di campo e suoni strumentali ritrattati, volti - stando allo statement dell'artista - all'evocazione simultaneo di una dimensione universale e di spazi interiori, dell'umanità in rapporto con la natura, concetto che viene districato attraverso l'esplorazione dall'obolo dell'oblio, che così viene ripensato da Machida: "L'oblio è proprio della correlazione fra la materia e il tempo. L'oblio ha un aspetto positivo: sembra essere un fenomeno del tutto naturale del processo temporale e diventa uno dei fattori per la creazione di nuovi universi. La natura consiste in una miriade di diversi cicli memoria-oblio". Un tema forse un po' settecentesco pre-romanticista in cui la memoria viene accostata alla vita e l'oblio alla morte e queste facoltà della mente umana vengono riportate in una dimensione naturale, come se dettata da meccanismi automatici e processi deterministici, in parte criticabile dunque, ma che è una sorta di canvas che funge da supporto all'aspetto puramente "filosofico" di questo lavoro.

Sordide scaglie sinfoniche introducono all'esperienza sonora avanguardista di Machida, abile nel cesellare il pattern spezzettando arie e colmando gli interstizi con echi spettrali, conferendo una sensazione di moto perpetuo all'ascoltatore: in Ocean Of Memory sembra quasi che abbia dato voce a brani di memoria ed immagini frammentate affiorate alla coscienza come coralli staccatisi dal fondale per effetto della corrente e sospinti da essa alla deriva, sospensione che viene traslata verso la conclusione della traccia in dissonanze ottenute facendo slittare il pitch. Rumori vischiosi e strampalati squittii su frammenti di discorsi renderizzati in stile Cunningham sono udibili nella claudicante Camouflage (di gran fattura le stimolazioni tubulari innestate su echi atmosferici della seconda parte), che da corridoi strettissimi segue un movimento espansivo attraverso saturazioni sonore che contrastano con le arie frantumate a cui Machida sembra protendere. La capacità di cesellatura delle frequenze è una costante di tutto il disco, ma nelle "scene" Yoshio regala ai padiglioni degli ascoltatori più affamati di suggestioni autentici camei: nell'acquatica Retrospective Future, a qualcuno potrebbe sembrare che bizzarri animaletti acquatici si stiano cimentando nell'assemblaggio di un concerto di chamber music, dopo il naufragio di una nave con un carico di arpe e clavicembali nella stiva diretto chissà dove, performato nelle profondità dei fondali; in Bubbles, i microfoni sembrano aver catturato una nenia cantilenante di bambini stonati nelle vicinanze di qualche fattoria dall'interno di qualche rimessa per macchine agricole... l'effetto è piuttosto straniante, ma al contempo parecchio suggestivo; nella terza scena, la sinfonia a cui fa riferimento il titolo è fatta suonare da elementi naturali, in prossimità - non è difficile intuirlo! - della costa... non è dato sapere di quali cavità rocciose Yoshio abbia sfruttato gli strani effetti di risonanze, ma simpatico è il modo di sottolineare l'approccio dadaista alla composizione attraverso la registrazione di una quasi-melodia effettata di una specie di strumento giocattolo. L'approccio vagamente old school è maggiormente palesato nelle restanti tre pieces, in cui l'ipernaturale dell'intitolazione delle trilogia si manifesta in sventagliate di sgonocchiate evocazioni metafisiche che dell'approccio dei giovani sperimentatori dagli occhi a mandorla conservano una semplicità, una compostezza e un senso di equilibrio non rinvenibili in simili sperimentazioni "occidentali": notevoli a riguardo sia le fluttuazioni astratte e la sospensiva alternanza di silenzio e piumaggi sonori sakamotiano di Silhouette, le divagazione di koto/shamisen nella ninnolante e oblunga Siesta e soprattutto la reverie bucolica finale Hypernatural (splendidi i vitrei arpeggi e i cinguettii metallici... sembra quasi che qualche povero uccellino, visitatore del cortile di casa Machida, abbia scambiato per mangime dei dadi della Toyota!). Alla fine del disco potreste essere incuriositi dall'immaginario di questo performer da voler cercare altre sue manifestazioni soniche, comprese quelle spacciate attraverso la sua etichetta personale, la Amorfon (mai denominazione fu tanto azzeccata!).


Rockerilla (IT) - April 2008
Text by Roberto Mandolini
http://www.rockerilla.com

Yoshio Machida è musicista e pittore. I suoi quadri sono macchie di luce o giochi di ombre. I materiali che usa sono diversi: tele ma anche lastre d'argento. La musica contenuta su "Hypernatural #3" (i primi due volumi risalgono a quasi dieci anni fa) rispecchia questa dualità. Da una parte ci sono i brani con le strutture lineari e indefinite ("Ocean Of Memory", "Silhouette") in cui Yoshio Machida fa grande uso di suoni concreti e field recordings, dall'altra le improvvisazioni aspre e caratterizzate da forti contrasti ("Camouflage", "Bubbles") dove lo strumento prediletto è lo Steel Pan, un tamburo metallico concavo che il giapponese processa utilizzando i più moderni software musicali.


Jazzthetik (DE) - April 2008
Text by Klaus Smit
http://www.jazzthetik.de

Jazzthetik, April 2008


Cyclic Defrost (AU) - April 2008
Text by Max Schaefer
http://www.cyclicdefrost.com/blog/?p=1870

In canvassing the not so small matter of oblivion, Yoshio Machida brings his Hypernatural series to an end. The project was taken up in the first place as an attempt to express the whole theme of nature through sound collage - part one being about memory in Eastern Asia and part two about transparent existence.

Even if the album falls well short of such lofty heights, there is little denying that Machida is a fine symphonist of fragments, snaring the most evanescent of sonic events and setting them in constantly evolving and richly expressive motion. Pieces develop from a single pulse or small clutch of percussive rattles into a twitching tapestry of inextricably intertwined high-register lines while the remaining space is flooded with spectral howls and a warped and wondrous oceanic vibe.

The rest of the album follows a similar arc - raga-like in its continual unfolding, the aerial war of electronics is explored and mined for most every musical nuance. The dense, lengthy drones, in whose blue, and occasionally grey, sibilant skies scattered electronics and field recordings do pirouettes off in the distance, are harmed as much as they are assisted by this personal vendetta of Machida's. In endeavoring to convey broad themes of nature, the general is often privileged over the singular. Either too much is included, and a richly seductive surface beauty evolves despite somewhat sylphlike content, or stark raw materials are forced to shine with iridescent complexity. This does result in some beautiful segments that, however fleeting, inspire real moments of wonder, but a more controlled approach would have worked much to its betterment.


Quiet Noise (AT) - April 2008
Text by Tobias Bolt
http://www.quietnoise.org/main.php?mode=r&id=105&arc=curr#currid

Yoshio Machida beendet mit dieser wunderschönen Veröffentlichung auf dem Edellabel Baskaru seine vor beinahe zehn Jahren gestartete "hypernatural"-Serie und stellt den abschliessenden Teil der Trilogie unter den Begriff oblivion. Jedes Stück darauf gleicht einem Blick durch ein Kaleidoskop, in dem sich endlose Verschleifungen aus Erinnerung und Vergessen ablösen, ein Werden und Vergehen, wie es sich auch in natürlichen Abläufen immer und immer wieder manifestiert, zerfaserte Wirklichkeit. "Ocean of Memory" nennt sich, auf ein Buch von David Toop anspielend, das erste Stück, aus dem hypnotisch verstotterte Ambientwolken aufsteigen, während das folgende "Camouflage" hektisch zwischen akustischen Tagebucheinträgen von Aki Onda und Schnipseln von found sounds oszilliert. Im weiteren Verlauf kontrastiert Machida immer wieder scheinbar Unvergängliches wie Meeresrauschen ("Symphony"), von buddhistischen Nonnen gesungene Sutras ("Bubbles") oder Vogelgezwitscher im finalen Titelstück mit kurzen Field Recordings und digitalen Prozessen. Klänge betrachtet er als Symbole, die er einander gegenüberstellt, um dadurch neue Kontexte zu entdecken und letztendlich Realität zu generieren. Die Wirkung ist ausnahmslos beeindruckend: alle acht Stücke, wenn auch anfangs etwas spröde, erweisen sich als hypnotisierend surreale Ambientmeditationen von allerhöchster Güte.


The Sound Projector (UK) - March 2008
Text by Ed Pinsent
http://www.thesoundprojector.com/2008/03/30/brise-glace/

Yoshio Machida brings us the utterly charming Hypernatural #3 (Baskaru karu:10), the third part of a trilogy begun in 1999; it so happens I was sent (and still cherish) Hypernatural #2 which was released in 2001 by Softl Music. Here, the gifted and mystical Japanese genius combines some live musical performances with field recordings and electronic music, constructing and processing everything to perfection using the Max/MSP program. Unlike 90% of shilly-shalliers who use similar processes, Machida actually emerges with something that's not only worth hearing, but is also exceptionally compelling and (at times) beautiful. Aki Onda, the wonderful sound artist who records the world around him on cassette tapes, guests on 'Camouflage'. Machida intends there to be some continuity across the entire Hypernatural series; if only one could access a copy of volume 1, which was self-released in 1999.


Sound of Music (SE) - March 2008
Text by Olov Melin
http://www.soundofmusic.nu/0709/pages/rec_yoshiomachida0801.php

1997 påbörjade den japanske ljudkonstnären Yoshio Machida ett projekt som han namngav "Hypernatural". Den första delen utkom 1999 och temat var enligt Machida själv "Memory in Eastern Asia". Två år senare följde den andra delen som behandlade "Transparent Existence" och det har gått hela sju år innan Machida nu slutligen knyter samman sin trilogi. Han har visserligen inte varit overksam de senaste åren, men jag får känslan av att "Hypernatural #3" krävt en hel del krut av sin upphovsmakare.

Temat för "Hypernatural #3" är den process som förändrar något till oigenkännlighet. Naturen existerar inte bara som fysisk verklighet, det finns även något förhöjt i begreppet "natur" som vi människor skapar och antingen försöker sätta ord på, eller som i Machidas fall, ljud. Visserligen kan det vara svårt för den som lyssnar att sätta sig in i en artists avsikter med sin musik, men det är ju knappast ointressant att få ta del av Machidas tankegångar och idéer.

Resultatet av dessa tankar och idéer är i mina öron smått fantastiskt. Ljudbilden är kanske inte direkt nyskapande utan påminner mycket om Keiichi Sugimotos projekt Fourcolor eller Ken Ikedas mer melodiska bitar. Dock lyckas Machida bygga upp en rent fascinerande liten värld av ljud, som ständigt skiftar i karaktär och som aldrig blir tråkig. Musiken är överhuvudtaget fantasieggande och jag blir nästan hänförd över hur snyggt det låter. Spåret "scene 16: retrospective future" skapar känslan av att befinna sig i ett fuktigt terrarium och skivan avslutas med tretton minuters tropisk fågelsång.

Tyvärr har jag inte hört speciellt mycket av Yoshio Machidas tidigare verk, men efter några dagar med "Hypernatural #3" i högtalarna har jag verkligen fått blodad tand och ger mig ut på jakt efter mer.


Chain D.L.K. (US) - March 2008
Text by Andrea Ferraris
http://www.chaindlk.com/reviews/?id=4273

While first approaching Machida's release on Baskaru I was quite sure what I was going to review was a good japanese ambient cd but in someway that's a restrictive definition for Hypernatural #3. Infact while working with ambient sound and not betraying her being japanese, Machida joins the aforementioned characteristic with a strong contemporary attitude that's why this work by some means reminded me some of the early ambient composers coming from a learned background like David Cunningham who's 1991's "water" on Made to Measure label remains a real masterpiece. Hypernatural #3 also reminded me of David Toop and again I think there a thread between the two artist I've mentioned so far in this review. On the other hand as I've said he's from the land of the raising sun and you can bet those ambient-japanese electronic sounds you either love or hate are probably part of the DNA and sure I'm in the ranks of those who love them. It's a soft work that despite some electronic aesthetic is much closer to classic ambient than to Minamo, Neina or names like those we've encountered so far. Simplicity and refined gentleness as you probably expect a release like that to be and you won't be disappointed since Hypernatural #3 won't betray those simple but basic rules. What I found quite characteristic of this release and that makes the difference between Machida and many young japanese composers is the fact he has this old school ambient approach that makes it in some way heavier but in a positive way, for example just take the closing tracks of the cd, the music is so low it's even hard to get what's happening you have this really distant sound fading in the background while on the surface you hear a soft and silent field recording of birds singing I'm not surprised he gave this closing track the same title of this release, the fact is it probably embodies the spirit of the whole concept thought It really sounds hyper-natural. Another reason for which I've been comparing Machida and Cunningham, despite the fact their music is considerably different, is that they're both musicians before using electronics, infact Yoshio is a steel pan player, believe it or not from this work is really hard to get this thing and to me that's another point of interest to give a listen to his last work.


Tokafi (DE) - March 2008
Text + Interview by Tobias Fischer
http://www.tokafi.com/newsitems/cd-feature-yoshio-machida-hypernatural-3/

A sentimental ending: Even decay is part of a circular flow.

Yoshio Machida's view of the world is broken. The way our mind works, he reasons, we can only fully understand what surrounds in relative terms and as a correlation between at least two quantities – and never by looking at its indivisual emanations on their own. His "Hypernatural" series, which he now concludes with its third part, sets out to conduct this process of comparing and relating in music by regarding sounds metaphorically.

What this means, in simpler terms, is that contrasts can actually make us see certain phenomena much clearer. On "Bubbles", Machida features Buddhist nuns singing a traditional song. On its own, this doesn't tell us all to much. By placing field recordings of grating noises, of footsteps on gravel, subtle machine rattlings and abstract spatial sounds on top of them however, he creates friction. Suddenly, the chant is part of a much larger environment, in which it both peacefully coexists and appears as anachronistic. This friction can serve as a foundation on which to establish an argument and make a point.

Speaking of which: The point of "Hypernatural #3" is that nature manifests itself in a multitude of interrelated and completely seperate cycles of oblivion and memory. Take the cover image, for example. The waves rolling gently towards the shore line will errode its stones over the course of ages. The way this changes their surface area implies that the new shape of each stone carries an inbuilt memory of the process on the one hand, while at the same time loosing all information about its previous state. In "Symphony", Machida speeds up this stretched-out transformation and destills it into seven minutes of water sound and gurgling arpeggios.

There is a romantic side to this idea, for it implies that nothing in nature can stay the way it is forever and that some things may be lost for good on a personal level – but that in the greater scheme of things, even decay is only part of a circular flow: Every drop of rain contains a memory of the ocean. And the new world, which takes shape in every instant, is always a necessary conclusion from its predecessor, formed by cause and effect and thanks to the passing of time.

"Hypernatural #3" is a sentimental ending to the series, many of its pieces coming across as yearning meditations on things beyond our control. But if it is, then only because the world, in its irreversibility, is yearning as well. And at the album's conclusion, there is hope: The title track places the sound of a single, rippled bass string in a forrest of eternal birdsong. It is a consoling finale: The world may be a broken place, but the music will never stop.

» A related interview of Yoshio Machida courtesy of www.tokafi.com : [ Read ]


Tapage Nocturne / France-Musique (FR) - February 2008
Text by Eric Serva
http://www.radiofrance.fr/francemusique/em/tapage/emission.php?e_id=18&d_id=320000603&arch=1

Yoshio Machida est un musicien électronique japonais joueur de steel pan. Il a été remarqué par David Toop, par de nombreux programmateurs de festivals de musiques électroniques et par quelques directeurs artistiques de labels indépendants. Parmis ces derniers c'est le label français Baskaru qui édite son nouvel opus discographique, intitulé Hypernatural #3, les deux précédents ayant été édité en 1999 et 2001, respectivement en tant qu'auto-production puis par l'excellent mais défunt label Softl Music dirigé entre 2001 et 2006 par Tom Steinle. La musique de Yoshio Machida est un concentré d'intelligence et de raffinement, inspirée par les sons et les musiques du sud est asiatique, par les bruits de la nature. Il compose à nouveaux huit pièces sonores souvent hypnotiques, toujours harmonieuses et foncièrement méditatives.


Vital Weekly (NL) - February 2008
Text by Frans de Waard
http://www.vitalweekly.net/615.html

We have to go back to Vital Weekly 289 to read about the second installment of 'Hypernatural' by Yoshio Machida, while the first was released in 1999. Machida is a man to work slow, of perhaps too busy in other fields. His music has been used for a commercial on French television, while also playing concerts which include electronics and steel drums. The latter play also a role on 'Hypernatural #3', but to recognize; for the rest its again a meeting of field recordings and 'treated instrumental sounds': piano and bass. While I was playing this CD I thought it was quite nice, but also I thought it's all something I have heard before, done better, done worse and done as good as Machida does it. What was in years ago the big hype, has turned to a normality now. It's fairly good microsounding music, a delicate line between instruments and field recordings, never dropping below the threshold of hearing, but also perhaps a bit too regular and normal now. A form that has worn out a bit by now. On a scale to ten, I'd say a good solid 7.



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