7FO - Music For Himitsu

For Métron Records' tenth album release, the label welcomes back Japanese artist 7FO (RVNG, Bokeh Versions, EM Records) for his second album on the imprint. Originally created to accompany a 2014 exhibition by Osaka art collective Himitsu, Music For Himitsu has now been remastered and pressed to vinyl for the first time.

Made up of ceramicist Shiori Nishino, photographer Hiroshi Nakamura and landscape gardener Takashi Torigoe, Himitsu showcased an elemental combination of light (photography), water (plants) and earth (ceramics) to explore a locale of beauty where harmony and discord coexist.

Realising their show was missing one final piece of the puzzle, they asked fellow Osaka native 7FO to create a soundtrack for the show. The work was played on a loop throughout the run and on one occasion was performed live.

‘‘The idea was to be in harmony with the exhibition but to stick out a little. We aimed to create an exquisite image that would serve as a backdrop, but not be hidden.’’

Constructed using improvised guitar loops, field recordings and 7FO’s now signature ellipsoid effects and found sounds, the music was originally recorded over an old 90s pop mixtape picked up at an audio store in Nishinari Ward, Osaka. In the spirit of the show, the cassette tape was reclaimed and given a new life as the substrate for Music For Himitsu.

The cascading water and verdant soundscapes, shimmering textures of light and tertiary percussion all evoke feelings of nascent optimism. Repetition collides with subtle tonal variation as sections swell, build and mutate organically into vast soundscapes that imbue the digital with the natural.

Music for Himitsu now has a new life outside of the exhibition, divided into eight parts for streaming, edited and split into two halves for vinyl and finally spinning in its original form on CD and digital as a single piece of music.

Written and Recorded by 7FO.
Voice by Shiori Nishino.
Mastered by Brandon Hocura.
Photos by Hiroshi Nakamura.
Artwork by Himitsu.

Music For Himitsu was created as one single piece of music to be experienced as part of a 2014 exhibition by art collective Himitsu.
Himitsu are 西野詩織/Shiori Nishino (ceramic artist), 中村寛史/Hiroshi Nakamura (photographer) and 鳥越隆史/Takashi Torigoe (landscape gardener).

© + ℗ 2022. Métron Records. All rights reserved. Unauthorized copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting is strictly prohibited.

Li Yilei - 之/OF

‘’之/OF is a word that can be used as a preposition to express the relationship between a part and a whole. It is an unfinished tone, a broken sentence, a start and a whole. It is sustainable, full of potentials and longings.’’

London based performance and sound artist Li Yilei shared an experience familiar to many migrants during the past year of COVID-19 chaos. With their UK visa set to expire, and family back in China, Li made a last-minute dash to return to their nation of birth. Able to board one of the last few flights to China during the initial turmoil of the coronavirus outbreak, Li made it back to Shanghai for a two-week stint in a quarantine hotel.

Though Li had already begun creating OF, the reality of the pandemic began to seep into the recordings. Each of the 12 tracks is a study in horology, using metaphorical sound transcriptions and atmospheric extractions to focus on the temporal relationship between experience and surroundings. Li’s awareness of their own understanding of time became increasingly heightened during quarantine and the emotional involvement found within these new realities informed many of the sounds created.

‘’I tried to portray each song as a short, scattered poem - a moment that I captured to represent each hour.’’

Composed using analogue synthesisers, vocal samples, field recordings and string instruments such as the violin and guqin, Li indulges in moments of grief, panic, healing, cessation, melancholy, vastness, hope, joy and emptiness as they explore the acoustic relations between humans and the many forces of nature.

The art of the Song Dynasty, with its ancient traditions of poetry and timekeeping, were also great sources of inspiration for the album - whilst paintings from the period, specifically those of flowers and birds, are common themes throughout the tracks. Indeed, it is within the vastness of time that the album artwork comes to relevance. The eighth emperor of the Song Dynasty, Huizong, was a revered artist and a scene from his work ‘Finches and Bamboo’ adorns the album cover.

Composed and produced by Li Yilei.
Mastered by Brandon Hocura.
Design by Jack Hardwicke.
Press shots by Cookie.

Special thanks to Jessica Goodchild and George Clift.

© + ℗ 2021. Métron Records. All rights reserved. Unauthorized copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting is strictly prohibited.

Synergetic Voice Orchestra - MIOS

In 1989, pianist and composer Yumiko Morioka put together a group of diverse street musicians and semi-professional players for a project that would come to be called the Synergetic Voice Orchestra. Inspired by Yumiko’s love of different musical cultures from around the globe, the band drew on influences from India, Ethiopia, Mali, Korea and China to create an album that merged these sonic identities with more traditional sounds from the southern Japanese city of Okinawa.

Having released her solo piano record Resonance a couple of years earlier, Yumiko was thrilled when offered the chance to make an album of ‘any kind of music she wanted’. She pulled together artists she knew or had seen playing from in and around Tokyo, many of whom were self-taught and could not read music.

It wasn’t always easy for Yumiko, a classically taught musician, to work with others who lacked her formal training. But by employing the synergetic principles of American architect and theorist Buckminster Fuller, she fostered an environment where the results of the group had a larger impact than that of the individual.

This approach brought a real energy to her compositions and the resulting recording sessions produced MIOS, an exploratory, creative work that felt alive with free-wheeling creativity. Nothing was off limits. The drummer, who ran a vegetable stall by day and practiced in a cemetery at night as to not disturb his neighbours, utilised old washing machine parts for some of the percussive elements.

Although Synergetic Voice Orchestra would eventually morph into a new band, leaving MIOS to exist as a singular moment in time, the album remains as one of Japan’s true hidden treasures.

Originally a CD only release, MIOS now comes to vinyl for the very first time, complete with brand new artwork by Elvis Barlow-Smith and remastered in 2021

Composed By Yumiko Morioka
Directed By Mikio Tajima, Shigeo Ohwa
Produced By Shigeo Ohwa, Yumiko Morioka
Recorded By Tatsuya Sakamoto
Remastering By Brandon Hocura

Drums Masahiro Iwamoto
Engineer Isao, Susumu Shigeto
Executive Producer Katsuji Okamoto, Kuniji Nakai
Flute Shunji Yamamoto
Keyboards Yumiko Morioka
Koto Mitsuko Nakabayashi
Percussion Katsuaki Yoshiguchi, Yujin Harada
Performer [Ohayashi] Naojiro Kato
Sitar Motoyasu Tatsuno
Vocals Mami Tanaka, Norico, Samala

Artwork by Elvis Barlow-Smith
Special thanks to: Jessica Goodchild & George Clift

© + ℗ 2021. Métron Records. All rights reserved. Unauthorized copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting is strictly prohibited.

Florian T M Zeisig - Music For Parents

On a rare trip back to his rural Bavarian hometown, producer and sound-artist Florian T M Zeisig was intrigued by a new addition to his parent's house, a vibroacoustic mattress purchased in the hopes of aiding their chronic sleep issues. Driven by a desire to reconnect in adulthood and help them finally find some rest, Zeisig spent the next two years researching vibroacoustic sound therapy, resulting in his third full-length LP 'Music for Parents'.

Building conceptual frameworks around intimate and personal encounters has always been the bedrock of Zeisig's work. His 2020 LP 'Coatcheck' explored emotional, physical and functional experiences of working in nightlife from the perspective of a garderobe attendant, a position he's held at various venues in Berlin over several years. With 'Music for Parents' he turns his attention to themes of sleep and healing, using elements of low-frequency sound therapy to create soothing soundscapes imbued with childhood memories and aspirations for creating better, more accepting familial relationships today. While rooted in the personal, the album was made with all those struggling with anxiety, stress and insomnia in mind.

Practically speaking, 'Music for Parents' can be paired with a vibroacoustic mattress or wearable bass device to enhance a listener's experience of the low frequencies. Zeisig will be teaming up with SubPac for a live rendition when gatherings can safely return, and frequently made use of their 'Wearable sub' while composing the record.

'Music for Parents' features cover artwork by his father and will come out on February 2nd, in celebration of the artist's mother's birthday.

Happy 60th Birthday Mom.

Recorded in Berlin, 2019-2020. Performed with Korg Wavestation, Korg EC150, Singing Bowl and SUBPAC S2

Written and recorded by Florian T M Zeisig. Mastered by Kabamix.
Artwork by Klaus Zeisig. Design by Jack Hardwicke & Florian T M Zeisig.

Special thanks to: Mom and Dad.
Jessica Goodchild, Maya Roisin-Slater, Dèsirèe Allen and George Clift.

© + ℗ 2020. Métron Records. All rights reserved. Unauthorized copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting is strictly prohibited.

Katya Yonder - Multiply Intentions

''Living on the border of Europe and Asia all of my life, I have always been interested in both of these huge parts of the world and their centuries-old history"

Multiply Intentions is the fourth full length release from Russian multi-instrumentalist Katya Yonder and her first long player since 2017. Borne from a new found sense of confidence and self-awareness, the album is inspired by both local and neighbouring musical cultures and a wide range of social influences.

Whilst her previous records were purely instrumental, for fear that she would be misunderstood or even ridiculed, Multiply Intentions sees Katya introduce her vocals for the first time. Singing in four different languages (her native Russian, English, Japanese and French) across 13 tracks, the album is an ode to her diverse musical upbringing and the wide range of influences on her as an artist.

Multiply Intentions was built from initial sketches she developed for her 2018 Métron Mixtape (a mix that was highlighted in Pitchfork’s monthly mix roundups). Working with these building blocks, and blending in her love of the music of Madonna, Brian Eno and Cocteau Twins with references drawn from 80s pop, old video game soundtracks and soviet films, Katya moved these initial ideas into larger, richer songs that are layered by her ethereal vocals.

"Out of respect and sincere love for the history of music on both sides of the world, it is very difficult for me to drop all this and not sing the so-called ode to everything that delights me"

Born in Yekaterinburg, a large city in central Russia that sits above the northern border of Kazakhstan, Katya’s interest in music began with learning the violin as a child, an instrument she still plays today. Throughout her childhood, Katya was exposed to different music and cultures via her parent’s eclectic record collection, listening to medieval, classical, electronic and retro-pop from the 70s and 80s.

Growing up, she began to look East, finding joy in Japanese music, anime and the nation’s unique cultural mentality and environment. To this she married her affections for Russian music and its southern neighbours like Azerbaijan where a professional collaboration with Farhad Farzali led her to explore and build a love for Azerbaijan music and culture.

Since the release of last album in 2017, Katya took a break to focus on commercial music writing, which has since become her full time job. This experience, combined with the confidence she found in her personal life changed the way Katya felt about her approach to music and inspired the development of Multiply Intentions.

Métron Records 2018. Berlin, DE.