Audio Dregs has long been a modest yet fruitful resource for vaguely abstract, electronic ambient, drone, and pop music, releasing outings by just-under-the-radar bands and projects. The Portland-based label now releases Speaks Melodies, the fourth album by Yuichiro Fujimoto and second for the label as well.
Fujimoto’s recordings serve as an aural feng shui, largely built with only the bare essentials for flow, without hindrance of obstruction or unnecessary bulk. The recordings aren’t cluttered with production or instruments, only touches or gestures or sound and melody. Think Jim O’Rourke’s acoustic elegance, with an ear for inviting spaces rather than theory or micro sonics.
Speaks Melodies holds an unassuming beauty that comes from its unhurried pacing and modest composition. Pieces like “Atlas He Draw” and “Puddle” paint portraits of the everyday, incorporating field recordings and little post-production. These gestures play over the slightest drone or acoustic melody, being careful to not dilute the scene.
“Street Pray” and “The Boys” bring two of the album’s most rhythmic pieces, pairing live, post-electronica beats, and Bibio-like acoustic softness for a meditative movement. Elsewhere, Fujimoto branches out to near-academic electronic music, but he could also just be spoofing the genre altogether with “Computer Music Made By 8 Year Old Girl.” The piece is cycles through a brief synth patch of soft beeps, washes of harmonium tones and captured water sounds. It’s fully indicative of Fujimoto’s playfully austere agenda.