♫♪  Masayoshi Fujita - “Moonlight”

The trope of the modern musician inspired in equal parts by nature and technology has come to define any number of cyborg-friendly projects that mesh together acoustic and electronic textures. At this point, humankind cannot escape the influence of technology, just as nature cannot escape the influence of humankind. With banner releases over the last couple years from the likes of Nils Frahm, Kiasmos, and A Winged Victory for the Sullen, the London-based label Erased Tapes Records has documented the evolution of contemporary “classical” music as mediated by the inevitable sway of electronic experimentation. Even in the absence of laptop accompaniment or genre-bending arrangement, the label’s overtly acoustic releases capture performance techniques and compositional structures informed by electronic traditions. Dawn of MIDI’s recently reissued Dysnomia transplants IDM grooves and tantric repetitive figures into the context of the acoustic jazz trio. The solo performances of legendary pianist and recent Erased Tapes adoptee Lubomyr Melnyk emerge from his instrument as dense and fully formed as a minimalist synth opus performed by multiple musicians.

With the September 11 release of his LP Apologues, the Berlin-based, Japan-born Masayoshi Fujita (f.k.a. El Fog) introduces his unique strain of vibraphone-focused composition to the Erased Tapes catalog. “Moonlight,” premiering below, reveals no electronic elements to the naked ear, as its languid string arrangement swirls around the luminous chiming of Fujita’s lead performance. Yet the constant flit of his mallets as they oscillate between complex tumbling phrases and steady single note pulses evokes the spasmodic glitch explorations of, say, Nobukazu Takemura or Florian Hecker — though in a more consonant package. While the beauty of “Moonlight” hinges on the time-honored timbre and sustain of the vibraphone, the unpredictable swells of Fujita’s performance charge the piece with an atmosphere of unease and urgency, as if portraying a struggle in real time against the onset of decay.

• Masayoshi Fujita: http://masayoshifujita.com
• Erased Tapes Records: http://www.erasedtapes.com

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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