One of the most fascinating and peculiar works from the golden era of Japanese ambient, #Notes of Forestry was initially released in 1988 by Newsic, the cult label started by Tokyo’s Wacoal Art Center (also known as Spiral), home, notably, of Yoshio Ojima who co-produced the album. Conceived by Jazz bassist turned experimentalist Motohiko Hamase, the magnum opus offers an enchanting mix of free-form pastoral electronics, otherworldly percussions by Yasunori Yamaguchi, and delightfully allusive piano played by none other than Satsuki Shibano (Sound Process’ Wave Notation 3).
Vibrant, sometimes eerie, and absolutely captivating, #Forestry captures Hamase’s quest for musical freedom, he explains:
"Inside the body of a musician, music is always transcendentally resonating. More than
language, music reigns. When creating music overlaps with the moment my body performs, I
strive to be as close as possible to the feeling of musical freedom. I feel that this notion lies at
the foundation of this album".
Musical freedom, here, provides an essential escape, extending the path uncovered by pivotal releases such as Midori Takada’s Through The Looking Glass, Satoshi Ashikawa’s Still Way, and Yutaka Hiros’s Nova.