Apologues Masayoshi Fujita
- 1Tears of Unicorn05:51
- 3Swallow Flies High in the May Sky05:01
- 4Beautiful Shimmer04:06
- 6Knight and Spirit of Lake06:46
- 7Puppet's Strange Dream Circus Band04:20
Info for Apologues
Masayoshi Fujita, the Berlin-based Japanese vibraphone player, also known under his alias el fog came to the attention of label founder Robert Raths a few years ago. Not only because the vibraphone is an intriguing instrument, but also the way Masayoshi treats his instrument and draws ethereal and layered sounds, is what truly attracted him to Masayoshi’s work. Having released more ambient-based/electronic recordings of the vibraphone under el fog, Masa became more interested in the sound of the vibraphone itself. He started to compose acoustic pieces and released the first solo album under his real name, titled ‘Stories’, in early 2013. ‘Apologues’ sees Masayoshi for the first time use an array of instruments besides his lead instrument – such as the violin, cello, flute, clarinet, French horn, accordion, piano and snare drum played by friends, but arranged by Masa himself. In addition to the mallets, Masayoshi often plays the vibraphone with a violin or cello bow, like on ‘Tears of Unicorn’ and ‘Knight and Spirit of Lake’. He would also place bead strings on the vibraphone bars to create an ambient shimmer that can be heard on songs like ‘Moonlight’ and ‘Swallow Flies High in the May Sky’. The latter was composed to let the clarinet express its characteristics and tell its story, whilst the vibraphone takes a supporting role. “The clarinet sounds very warm and soft and very ‘spring’ to me”, says Masa. “With this album the main idea was to evoke images, atmospheres, sceneries and stories in the listener, the images that have accumulated in myself. At the same time it was an exploration of the unexplored beauty of the vibraphone, and also a pursuit of the charm of the instrumentation and the music itself. Erased Tapes releases a lot of great stuff and naturally became my favourite label of late. And I thought it would fit well to my music.” (Masayoshi Fujita)
„Melodic constellations so impeccably gorgeous that they ache.“ (Pitchfork)
„Listening to it feels like the endless days of summer.“ (Indie Shuffle)
„Such a heavenly piece of music.“ (Mary Anne Hobbs, BBC 6 Music)
Masayoshi Fujita, vibraphone, all instruments
His route to Berlin was a roundabout one. Introduced to music via Bon Jovi, his first stint abroad naturally took him to the motherland of rock, the United States. After a year in the USA, he returned to Japan to study film. His love for movie making, however, proved less pronounced than his admiration for Bon Jovi, a band he can still quote and sing from memory. He decided to learn how to play the drums, followed by extensive vibraphone training to craft and play his own, mostly jazz and electronic-influenced compositions. Determined not to stick to traditional vibraphone styles or techniques, Masayoshi started to prepare his instrument with pieces of metal, strips of foil and similar objects. The resulting new sounds, akin to distortions, help to expand the vibraphone spectrum without eroding the instrument’s intrinsic character or even abandoning it altogether. Besides his extremely reduced and deliberate style of playing, it is this aural redefinition that makes Masayoshi Fujita’s craft so remarkable and noteworthy in my eyes. Literally caught in his spell, it was a delight and privilege to accompany his play. On a different note, Masayoshi’s wood prints should not go unmentioned. The cover and booklet of Bird, Lake, Objects present concise, abstract and monochrome landscapes and thus a visual complement to his music.
This album contains no booklet.