Hush Hush is honored to connect again with Japanese filmmaker, documentarian, and electronic musician Noriaki Okamoto to help present his second album under the Norio alias.
‘Daidara bou’ arrives one year after the release of ‘Somebody’ (HH148), Norio’s debut album that introduced the world to his intricate, nuanced, and delicate “life-size” music. Norio’s full-time work as a documentary videographer has closely correlated to his approach to creating music. With a multi-disciplinary focus on capturing natural, atmospheric, and honest moments, Norio’s minimalist sonic paintings continue to flourish on ‘Daidara bou.’
Throughout the course of writing this album, Norio was inspired by the Japanese mythological creature Daidarabotchi. Also known as Daidara bou, Daidarabotchi is a gigantic yōkai who’s larger-than-life legend thrives within the Gunma Prefecture, the mountainous area where Norio has lived since re-locating from his longtime home of Tokyo. With his documentarian work often taking him into the region’s beautiful natural surroundings, including mountains, lakes, and hot springs whose origins trace back to the folklore tales of the Daidarabotchi, Norio began to meditate on this supernatural creature to help fuel his creative sessions.
Norio had this to share about this unique influence upon his album:
“I believe that "Daidara bou" is nature itself.
It contains horror.
And he is huge, a sort of symbol of the "foreign body.”
As a horrible foreign object, he will be feared and sometimes discriminated against by the world.
But he himself is very pure and childlike.
We see a lot in the news these days about trying to control nature.
But it is no match for it.
Nature is beautiful, capricious, and sometimes terrifying.
Daidara bou" is "nature itself in the form of a giant."
Nature does not have a heart, but he does.
This is a bit of a comedy and a bit of a tragedy.
What I wanted to portray in my album was "human nature.”
We think magnificent nature is beautiful and try to control it.
And we feel threatened by foreign substances.
But we have a human heart.
I wanted to depict this dilemma through him.”
From the melancholic piano notes of album opener “Giant” to the gentle sighing fade of album closer “Negura,” ‘Daidara bou’ showcases Norio’s “like an ambient music” – as he describes it – over 10 hypnotic tracks. Ambient in its intimate and immersive tone, Norio’s music exists within a fluid space that explores the introspective shades of IDM, downtempo, neo-classical, dream-pop, and post-rock. Along the way, Norio collaborates with Tokyo-based musician Satomimagae (RVNG Intl., White Paddy Mountain) and Yamanashi-based musician moshimoss, each artist adding their own distinctive human touch to his warm, authentic, humanistic digital music.
Stunning work from everyone involved! Each track is perfectly placed in the the compilation, so relaxing and beautiful. This project is so meaningful to me as a female/queer artist and as someone who focuses a lot on my own mental health... it shines light on an area that needs more representation and attention. This vinyl is already a treasured part of my collection, thank you!
I went to the listening party and all I got was this lovely album. No, kidding, I also got a book recommendation in the chat. This says everything about the people behind the music. This album is lush and swirly and tender. Anything this incredible duo produces is an absolute delight. Jimmy Harris