Thanks to the mysterious magic of youtube algorithms driving a new generation of electronic music fans to uploads of Yoshimura’s CDs, the subgenre of New age Japanese ambient music has had something of a resurgence lately. What were once obscure albums that could be scavenged for in the record store’s dollar bin, now receive millions of views on youtube.
As more and more citizens find themselves under orders to stay indoors as much as possible, and in some places away from public recreation areas entirely, anything that can create a small moment of escape and serenity within their own home is very much needed. Playing these albums in the background while stuck in an isolated apartment helps it feel just a little more like we’re somewhere else.
Perhaps it’s because much of Yoshimura's work was designed to create space. Yoshimura’s early projects were made to be played at runway shows, contemporary art exhibits, or commissioned from certain clients. Soundscape 1: Surround (1986) is a soothing balm for the soul that was originally commissioned by a real estate company to be played in their model houses. His dual sided release A・I・R, which contrasts a forest and oceanscape on opposite sides of the record, was the ultimate result of a Japanese skincare company’s request to create a sound for their new fragrance.
As we are all collectively confined to our homes and try to make them as livable and enjoyable as possible, letting Yoshimura’s gentle melodies into your space creates an atmosphere that feels akin to installing a waterfall in the living room. These pieces of music are masterfully crafted to evoke feelings of nature and wide open space, which is something that we could all use a little bit of right now.