[Skam :: 2009]
Review + Interview
Nuearz is the solo project of Kazuhiro Okuda in Osaka, Japan, and the mad style he debuts on his first album release Saturation Point sounds like no other. Similar to what the Future Sound Of London did with Dead Cities, Nuearz creates a soundscape that, in my mind, paints an audible picture of the gritty, futuristic, chaotic and colorful Osaka city atmosphere.
The second you press play you are immediately thrown into the artist's neon world of crunchy concrete beats, glowing skyscraper billboards, flying cars whizzing past you in all directions, and a giant, 47-story Timex watch chiming out a digital alarm to keep everything moving on time. Modern electronic synth sounds and samples are chopped, edited, and pasted into paranoid patterns that have your head spinning and your feet moving fast. Hints of the old world peek through each track with the use of pentatonic scales and certain stringed acoustic instruments. I normally cringe when guitar is added to IDM, however in this case the synthesized strings embellish this album's overall personality in a good way. All of the artist's strong sound choices and high levels of compression make over-stimulation par for the course, but once you fall in step with the chaotic rhythms of this album, you'll be grooving with the rest of us.
Nuearz's sound is fresh and unique with title track "Saturation Point", follow up "Humble Diet" and popular pick "Counterpoise" being excellent representations of his signature electronic distortion and variety of moods. "Non Linear Vibration" features a warm melodic vibraphone sound about halfway through that is cleverly juxtaposed with metallic factory klinks and klangs, giving us a welcomed reprieve from the rawness elsewhere. The timing in the lead melody of this track is also slightly imperfect which gives it a humanistic quality to remind us that there is a man behind the machines. A few vague and momentary comparisons can be made such as the way "Twist and Turn" comes in reminding me a bit of Autechre's "Dael" from Tri Repetae, and the track "Innerspace" begging for a female voice to announce "Welcome to Central Industrial" ala FSOL, but stylistically as a whole, I can't think of any other artist that sounds quite like this.
I got in touch with Nuearz with a few questions about the album. Here are preview clips for you to listen to while you read.
Bc: How did you get hooked up with Skam Records?
Nuearz: I had sent my DEMO CD to Skam last year in March and recieved a response from the label after 2 weeks. They loved my DEMO CD that included 11 songs very much and wanted to hear my other songs. I sent about 30 songs totally. They planned to release a 2xCD last year at first but the plan was changed. My 2nd CD will be released in this year.
Bc: Can you describe your frame of mind while composing Saturation Point? Or the frame of mind you wanted to convey?
Nuearz: I wanted to create a non linear sound space so I needed to make twisted grooves, rhythm loops and odd structure.
Bc: What is your favorite piece of hardware used on Saturation Point?
Nuearz: I did not use hardware, only used softwares and PC and soundcard. My favorite softwares are REACTOR, FM8, Massive, Virtual Guitalists, STYLUS, and my most favorite effect is GuitarRig.
Bc: Who made the album cover?
Nuearz: Sleeve Art work is by Fernando F. Fonseca. He is a Portuguese artist.
Bc: Both your Nuearz and Neu Arz MySpace profiles have many wonderful pictures from around Japan. Does living in Osaka inspire your music?
Nuearz: It is said that Osaka is a very chaotic city compared with Tokyo. This Chaos stimulates my creativity.
Buy Nuearz - Saturation Point :: Skam Shop | Amazon
Connect with Nuearz :: MySpace