…To enrich the musical expression in this piece of work, a sound artist Suzuki [akisai] used various instruments from his wide range musical background, which created not only the basis of “akisai sound”, but brings an expectation to their future works…
Schole. Audiovisual art pioneers. Worldwide talent locators for arrays of interesting electronic soundscapes and emotive graceful melody headed by the lovely world renowned Akira Kosemura.
Brilliant. Creative. Engineers. Free thinkers. These are but a few traits that describe legendary audiovisual duo akisai straight out of the place I dream of daily: Japan.
Audio // Visual
- Yo Suzuki – Production
- Koichi Nakaie – Visual
Japanese residents Schole Records + akisai have created inspiring audiovisual perfection with label releases “images” (2015) and “colors” (2014). akisai are an example of creativity at the highest level – ballads and intelligent dance-floor rhythms — technical, even, at times.
Schole Records’ residents akisai have released two albums via Schole, their awe-inspiring DVD audiovisual project called “Re:Qualia,” which is bundled with the images album, and colors — both featuring the art of talented Schole art director Shin Kikuchi throughout akisai’s journey.
Both “colors” and “images” contain creative, catchy, mesmerizing piano guitar, synth… You name it, akisai samples it as part of their genius electronic output.
Inspiring audiovisual art sessions with opening act support from downtempo virtuoso paniyolo.
Schole art director Shin Kikuchi authoring “re:qualia“
Label/Cat#: Schole – SCH-043
Year: 28 Sep 2015
Format: CD & DVD
music: yo suzuki
visual concept : koichi nakaie
a&r : akira kosemura
mastering : hiroshi iguchi
artwork, art direction & DVD authoring : shin kikuchi
production management : SCHOLE INC.
CD Tracklist //
DVD Tracklist //
1. Composition Works I: ‘bless’ from “images“.
2. Composition Works II: ‘mistygray’ from “images“.
3. Composition Works III: ‘theory’ from “colors“.
More information: Akisai, a sound and visual performance duo unit, released their second album “images” packaged in two discs including sound (CD) and visual (DVD).
Composition style of using guitar, piano, synthesizes are continuously used from previous album, but more sound of trumpet, flute, and other wind instruments are featured in this album. To enrich the musical expression in this piece of work, a sound artist Suzuki used various instruments from his wide range musical background, which created not only the basis of “akisai sound”, but brings an expectation to their future works.
A thirty-one minutes visual track “re:qualia” included in DVD, shows a concept of reconstructing the akisai’s worldview consists of the abstract images created from layered visual elements and sound elements with different perspective. The visual is formed from three composition works; ‘bless’, ‘mistygray’, from this album “images” and ‘theory’ from previous album “colors”. A visual artist Nakaie sublimates those sound images from each track into visual images with his own senses. To search for possibility of creating a new notion of sharing by connecting to mutual senses, and one invisible string will be tied up with the viewer’s sense lying deep inside.
As said in the album title “images”, it is produced after the various attempts of conversation between sound and visual, and will stimulate listener’s imagination richly.
A&R by Akira Kosemura, mastering and engineering by Hiroshi Iguchi, and photography and artwork by Shin Kikuchi, continued to be in charge from their previous album.
Words by AG: November 2018
“images” begins with “cycle“, wherein the listener is introduced to akisai’s diverse soundscapes for the first time. Soulful guitar chords grace the listener, and soon after, mesmerizing electronic instrumentation joins the mix. After the introduction, a harmonic peak of downtempo guitar and interesting instrumentation is featured. You will notice throughout akisai’s diverse experimentation that notes are occasionally generously re-sampled to develop into melodies that are completely different sounding, yet so alike. In the jaw-dropping “bless,” track two, deep ethereal sound structures are created, and a breakdown of pure bliss occurs at around 1:05. In the latter half of the track, gentle downtempo notes are transformed into rapid textures – in my case emitting a sense of autonomous sensory meridian response. “sicilienne” responds to “bless” by being a worthy following track with brilliant piano melodies as a bassline to emit and feature truly breathtaking rhythmic guitar instrumentation throughout the track with harmonic meditative flute as a focal point. “euphoria” takes a step back; a gentle stroll perhaps, to lull the listener into relaxation with quirky electronic beats — later to be joined again by a glorious harmonic piano structure. akisai elevates the track another notch by adding elements and relaxing abstract melody. “talk” rounds out the second half of the album with a noticeable audible hiss and playful melody before rounding out into bongos and witty, audibly wonky beats. Soon after, we hear a balearic laid back soundscape to guide us through the album — almost as we’ve traveled back to another time period through sound as the track comes to a close…
“mistygray” features deep inspired downtempo guitar and re-sampling sound effects – soon to be joined by a heartfelt piano ballad. This track is an aural masterpiece for meditation and relaxation. Next, in “ambience,” experimentation is immediately featured leading into one of the most emotional guitar ballads featured throughout akisai’s work. A masterpiece chillout cut, “ambience” paints vivid imagery of Koichi Nakaie’s visual work & dreamy pieces by Schole art director Shin Kikuchi in my mind with ethereal vibes that allow exploration of the most inspired reveries through images. “sailors” features a quick field recording from lovely aviary friends and immediately leads into another emotive, melodic piano ballad that screams neoclassical crossover in my mind. The work of true virtuoso akisai again re-samples bird calls – lovely and inspired soundscapes. The spectrum of perfection spreads through colorful piano and cinematic string-work in a lovely almost five minute journey throughout “sailors“…. In “utopia,” audiovisual duo akisai creates lovely sounds through interesting percussion work, blissful guitars, and sweet, sweet piano to round one of two current albums by the amazing duo akisai to a close.
Label/Cat#: Schole – SCH-034
Genre: Electronic, Classical, Crossover
Format: CD, WEB
1. Line (04:45)
2. Idearythmical (05:34)
3. Synchrotonica (05:35)
4. Theory (05:28)
5. Biotopia (03:26)
6. Yumecasy (05:22)
7. Phase (03:31)
8. Memoment (04:33)
9. Flow (04:46)
10. Eternitica (03:54)
Total length: 46:54
More information (Schole): akisai, a sound-visual performance duo, releases their first album “colors” from SCHOLE. The album is one reaching point of akisai, to introduce their present style was formed after the repeated synchronization of sound-visual live performances with spaces. The visuals are by Nakaie, who is a visual artist works with stage production and fashion brand images. The sounds are by Suzuki, who learned classical piano since childhood, and is a keyboardist with roots of Jazz, progressive, and pops influence. Based on his background, each composition works are colored with the original and touching melodies.
An opening tune from this album, “line”, has the rhythm created with catchy guitar riff and the brisk electronic sounds. Then “idearythmical” shows the movement of subtle ambiguities, and the ingenuous contrast of sound as it resounds in both wide and narrow spaces. “Synchrotonica”, a melodious guitar plays with the groove formed from the four beats combined with speedy keyboard. The worldview of akisai is shown at the initial part of the album.
In quietness, a brilliant dialogue between keyboard and guitar can be heard on “theory”, then “biotopia” brings a short respite to this album with the elements of ambience. ”yumecasy” will take you out for roam into the haze of low-pitch sound. The passage of beautifully played piano heard in “phase” will bring the feeling of both sadness and beauty. “memoment”, the sound of trumpet produce a jazzy atmosphere and fuses impressively with the folktronica elements, then Suzuki’s skillful bluesy solo appears at latter part of the song. We can see the each track is transformed by reacting with Nakaie’s visual works, and is created to color the spaces.
Then the slow tempo and lo-fi rhythm contained in “flow” reminds of sunset beach scenery. In the end of the album, “eternitica” playbacks the blissful moments and loneliness, as if one is pulled into the story but suddenly the ending comes.
Throughout the album, the varieties of musical essence are mixed with the rich melody lines to create musical expression to stir listener’s emotions, and the skillfully developed sound composition builds the own universe of sounds. A pure, unfettered, and beautiful debut album of akisai connects the people’s imagination deeply to the sound created from the visuals what interprets the abstractness of “emotions”.
Words by AG: November 2018
“colors” begins with “line” — featuring nested downtempo guitars, shakers, and sonic sound instrumentation all to lead into an emotive melodic breakdown. The mid-point of this track features satisfying transcendent stabs and reverbed euphoria, vividly reminding me of why akisai is one of my favorite standout audiovisual instrumental projects. Next, in “idearythmical,” playful percussion is featured alongside akisai’s signature motifs and heartfelt piano patterns — this track emits a certain sense of glowing radiance, the downtempo guitar featured in this track is wonderful.
In “synchrotonica,” an array of subtle piano notes grace the listener, and a quirky airy melody chases behind for one of the most dreamy tracks akisai has produced. “theory” begins with a few vivid, clear focused piano melodies – with a generous amount of grace. Soon after, heart warming downtempo guitar joins to create an abstract theory. “theory” is a standout track on colors because of the sophisticated dreamy sound and emotionally-rich piano ballads, that is once again Japanese audiovisual duo akisai’s signature. Later, in “biotopia,” perfect harmonics are performed at optimal sound levels – the dynamics are perfect in the shimmering opening to this track. After the shaker [percussion] joins as an interesting element to akisai’s sound structure — yo takes off with guitar melody and a tightly knit snare drum abstraction. True art at the highest creativity level.
“yumecasy” rounds out the second half of colors with master-craft nested electronics to create a technical experience. Lovely dynamics and collaborative guitar allows the listener to relax… See the included video to experience what creative director Koichi Nakaie has to offer. Soon after in “phase,” percussion is featured as a central rhythmic point, while hypnotic guitar chords and tight snare drum work grace the listener. “memoment” dives deeper into akisai’s motivational pool – riveting acoustics shimmer and shine throughout this deep reflection. Before the album closes, “flow” enters with beautiful, gentle forte-esc dynamics and the organic reflection of running water, as if the listener was exploring a forest. After a brief gentle cymbal vibration, flow unfolds into the soundscape it was meant to be, keeping tight time as if it were a traditional swing-beat jazz track. Classic. Timeless. Melody. Harmonics.
Finally, in “eternitica,” akisai says a proper goodbye through musical tones and melodies – invigorating trumpets and harmonic structures to remind you how talented this magical audiovisual duo out of Japan really is — and the label that searches the world for diverse electronic music talent — the wonderful Schole Recordings out of Japan.
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