The Spinners

Flowers (Asuna, 2009)

In Ambient, Electronica, Japanese, Rex Baylon on April 10, 2010 at 10:58 am

I don’t really know what to call it. The only category that comes to mind when describing the sound is ambient noise pop, but such reductive categorizing doesn’t do justice to the music of Asuna. From the information I could gather on the Internet I can tell you that Japanese musician Asuna has been producing experimental music since 1999. And although I couldn’t tell you how many albums he has already put out, his latest record, Flowers, was released about a year ago.

The album is lo-fi not only in terms of production but also of theme. Many of the tracks clock in at a little over a minute long, some just two and a half minutes, which gives many of the songs an unfinished rough-hewn veneer. It’s as if Asuna is rushing from one auditory idea to another, offering only pencil sketch blueprints for his songs and letting the listener fill in the rest.

If one had to pluck out a concept for Flowers it would have to be a lazy afternoon. While listening to every one of the twelve tracks in the album, I can’t shake the image of sitting aimlessly under the shade. Songs blur into each other and one can easily lose track of the time as well as one’s train of thought. The constant repetition of sounds, whether instrumental or ambient noise, has a metronomic effect on the listener. The trancelike spell cast by Flowers will have one’s heart rate and pulse synchronized to the rhythm of each track. While many mainstream musicians aim to grab hold of their audience’s attention, Asuna is content with turning the ordinary into a quiet soundtrack for anyone to spend the day with.

– Rex Baylon

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