Masayoshi Fujita is probably one of the premier contemporary vibraphone players, and with Apologues he steps away from his more electronically-abstracted music under his alias el fog. Here, the instrument sounds more like itself, the accompaniments from clarinet and strings adding up to some beautiful compositions.
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We don’t seem to get much vibraphone music here at NR, probably because Robin’s so busy insistently playing the latest psych hit for his psych column all the time. The thought of acoustic instruments sends shivers down his spine. Yet somewhere on the shelves, some beaters are tinkling quietly against finely shaped wooden planks in stately flourishes.
Erased Tapes welcomes Masayoshi Fujita to their roster of forlorn watchers, just at the time he expands his instrumentation to include piano, clarinet, violin, cello - all the ingredients for a chamber neoclassical pie. If they’re the filling, then what’s the crust? What’s holding it all together? Luscious, heartwarming chord movements that’ll take your mind to whichever rural grassland holds a place in your memory, even if that’s just Tellytubbyland. A delicious, grassy crust. I’m gonna stop the pie chat now cuz I can hear Phil drooling over his keyboard.
The better moments on Apologues are the slower, rubato passages where the notes flow lyrically from the vibes, ‘Beautiful Shimmer’ couldn’t sum it up better really. There are times when it gets rhythmic, the sprightly pace of ‘flag’ bounding around like Bambi, but it isn’t as captivating as the more impressionistic sequences. ‘Knight and Spirit of Lake’ again nails it, twinkly brilliance. Good vibes.
5/10 D Customer review, 2nd November 2015
"Apologues" by Japanese vibraphone player Masayoshi Fujita is a highly significant album. It is the release that has made me finally realise that I need to stop buying Modern Classical/Ambient releases just because they seem to be vaguely pretty when I play clips from them on Sound Cloud.
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