Boomkat Product Review:
Tzadik's New Japan series is a constantly evolving collection, seemingly hell-bent on procuring the finest Japanese alternative music releases to unleash them on unsuspecting Western ears.
Aoi is Ayuo's third release for the label, and takes the influence from traditional Japanese Noh theatre. The result is a psychedelic assault on the senses, mixing 70s prog and soundtrack sounds (think Goblin) with Keiji Haino style rampant individualism (Ayuo has collaborated with Haino in the past also) and deep drone works.
The centrepieces of this album however are two incredible minimalist solo piano works and a piece for Bouzouki, a Greek folk instrument. 'Aoi' is a remarkably varied disc, jumping from style to style without sounding forced or pained, and comes as a huge recommendation for fans of the Japanese experimental/improv scene, or the current wyrd psych scene which has taken off so hugely.