Teruyuki Nobuchika: Morceau
Schole Records

Lush folktronica, Teruyuki Nobuchika's first solo album, Morceau, comes as close to being the quintessential Schole recording as one is likely to hear. Song titles alone—“Tiny Fairy,” “In the Park,” “Tranquille,” and “Reposer” among them—convey the style and mood of the album's bucolic content, with the composer (of soundtrack, ambient, electronic, and classical musics) weaving acoustic and electronic sounds into densely layered, transporting mini-set-pieces. Credited as the sole composer, performer, and producer of the album's dozen songs, Nobuchika shows himself to be very much up to the challenge.

“Pola” sets the tone with a lilting pastoral forest of acoustic guitars, electronic shimmer, and tiny creature sounds, after which “Tiny Fairy” perpetuates its quietly rapturous spirit. “Tranquille” covers the listener in a blanket of symphonic tranquility, while “Deauville” melds piano, electronics, and field recordings into a time-suspending, four-minute dreamscape. Prettiest of all, “Nocturne” closes the album with three stately minutes of piano-based heartache. Deviating from the soothing style is “Piano Bit,” a rollicking techno affair whose repetitive piano patterns wouldn't sound out of place in an early Steve Reich recording.

Many of the tracks are heavily processed (“P2d” one such example, and “Hypnotique” is dominated by processed piano playing), with slivers of guitar, piano, and electronics stitched into tight lattices of abstract sound that nevertheless evoke natural woodland realms. Bolstering that impression are field recordings of the outdoors that sneak into many of the songs; the chirp of crickets, for instance, flows through “Bagatelle No.1,” but not so distractingly that one's attention is displaced from the quiet splendor of Nobuchika's piano-based music.

June 2010