Shuta Yasukochi – Short Stories
‘Short Stories’ is a gorgeous and delicate offering from Shuta Yasukochi. The Japanese artist’s debut appears on the label Archives, spreading a sense of calm and positivity to the listener. A careful blending of swelling guitars, rounded synth-like tones, rustic field recordings, and a bed of static create a wholesome sonic image of wonder and exploration. Within the ever-evolving palette of field sounds, there is a real feeling of adventure as environments change and converse with musical vulnerability. Yasukochi’s work is reminiscent of Lowercase Noises, Umber, with the longing and melancholic textures of Hakobune. Despite the heavy processing that warps much of the instrumentation, the artist retains a fullness and warmth that is truly touching; this is best found in the second track, ‘Far In The Distance’. The album includes lesser tranquil moment, such as the track ‘Anxiety’, in which the listener hears harsher tones and a raised noise floor professing feels of insecurity, only to return to the beautifully soothing ‘Izukohe’, where delightful resonance and an uplifting sensation is experienced. The album feels natural, welcoming, and well thought out, whilst avoiding any rigid structure that would otherwise suppress its fluidity. I have to be honest in stating that ‘Short Stories’ is one of the more impressive debuts I have had the pleasure of listening to in recent times, completely at home with the highest quality of releases that are presented by Archives. As the album ends the final track, fittingly named ‘Farewell’, reaches points of intensity without becoming overwhelming, shimmering off into silence as smoothly as it first appeared.