On this week’s Sunrise Sessions, we travel overseas towards the beautiful, cherry blossom skies of Japan, as two of Progressive’s brightest stars unveil a brilliant new EP that tingles the senses in rapturous excitement. While we mainly cover artists from Europe and America on this weekly segment, one cannot deny the explosive force of EDM in the East and its impact on the culture of its youth. Many are drawing parallels with what’s currently happening with East Asia to the uprising surge that occurred in America during 2012 and while the scene is presently focused on the festival circuits rather than the specialized genres, there have been some rare and eclectic artists whose Progressive handiwork strives to touch those who have the will to seek them. This week, we look at the fantastic Masanori Yasuda, as his upcoming talents have really shone through with brilliance with his forthcoming single EP. Inspired by the older styles of Anjunadeep with label heroes like Andrew Bayer and Boom Jynx, he decided to steer away from his then current 80’s Nu-Disco approach into a deeper style that beautifully represented vividly emotional groove and sweetly mesmerizing melodies. His entire career has been overshadowed by Otographic Music ever since he was the winner of a remix contest for Hiroyuki ODA‘s single, Submarine, and now, he is set to release his first ever single with Ajisai. I absolutely love the motivation for this piece and in his own words, this track, “was inspired by the rainy season [of Japan] through sonorous piano melodies in gentle soundscapes to explore the expressive power of Masanori Yasuda in one, complete work.”
Masanori Yasuda- Ajisai (Original Mix)
The term, ‘Ajisai‘, is meant to represent a specific, budding flower of the Hydrangea species that is only native to Southern and Eastern Asia, and is most noted for its vibrant, yet cool blue/purple hues. Masanori perfectly manages to capture the inner essence of the older sounds of Anjunadeep with his first released single, yet also manages to infuse the contextual overlays of Japanese culture into the layers of the mix. Many Japanese Progressive artists somehow manage to ensure a rich, yet vivacious edge to each of their tracks that’s unique to their talents only, and since we are constantly used to American and European artists, it’s a refreshing change of pace that we can’t help but be enthralled by it. This track is nonchalantly coated in smoldering hues of Deep House textures, yet the tone and overarching structure of the piece is resoundingly Progressive, especially when the breakdown occurs. One can even gain a sense of Lounge music within this track as other genre elements such as Breakbeat and Tribal have coyly been incorporated to flesh the piece towards a fuller, more enriching experience; much like discovering the subtle notes of a complex glass of wine. Indeed, the more that one listens to it, the more one realizes just how intricate the stylistic choices are within each phrase. The contrast between luscious basslines, serene Progressive ostinatos and a gorgeous piano line that just melts your heart is nothing short of fantastic and the overlapping of instrumental layers makes this work an incredibly engaging and ambitious work of art.
Masanori Yasuda- Ajisai (Shingo Nakamura Remix)
As a delightfully unexpected surprise, the legendary Shingo Nakamura has decided to step in for remix duties, as he offers a deeper, edgier alternative to the fantastic Original. No one can touch upon Progressive without mentioning his name and his over-expansive discography is truly a brilliant testament to his glorious legacy. He is most known for his whimsical melodies and beautiful piano lines and has been around since the beginning of the genre, making him one of the original godfathers of this joyous genre. While mainly Progressive, Shingo has also been known to delve into many other genres and with such a multilateral piece like this, it allows him to really experiment with other different styles to create a piece that is fresh and original, as well as a track that is defined by his delicate expertise. Deep, grumbling basslines are the main focal point of this piece, as the slow, eight beat single-stabs allows the track to breathe and expand beyond its borders as crisp, refreshing percussion offers a settling contrast to even out the alluring orchestration. Like always, the piano lines are beautifully on point and the added bonus of thick, succulent piano chords really adds a whole other layer of crisp, refined sound design that only comes through years of intense refinement. While characterized as ‘Deep‘, it also goes above and beyond simple genre definitions, as the vivacious power and drive on the main phrases suggest a more intuitive Progressive edge, especially when the rich, full bodied Prog-beat stabs occur in the second release. With an emphasis on breaking down any and all genre restrictions, it manages to excel itself towards a truly original sound without compromising the age old traditions of a classic Shingo Nakamura work.
Masanori Yasuda‘s brand new single, Ajisai, will be available on July 7th via Otographic Music on Beatport, so make sure you mark this release in your calendars and support real talent, wherever they may be in the world!
Keep the music alive. -Q
On Sunrise Sessions, we find tracks that best exemplifies the chilled, low energy vibes of early Sundays to start your day off on the right foot. We want to show you what many are missing and help you discover an entire ecosystem of music that’s waiting to be explored. Not to be held down by genres, we look into music in a variety of styles, including Progressive, Deep House, Ambient and even tracks that aren’t a part of EDM! Every week, we unfold a wide variety of artists ranging from established, well known names to producers who purely reside in the underground.