Jules

Nonturn

Nonturn is Nozom Yoneda, a musician working mainly in Tokyo. He collects environmental sounds and makes rhythmic and cinematic music using his harvested audio. Having studied all kinds of music such as classical music, blues, jazz, experimental music, club music and so on since his childhood, he made his debut in the drum'n'bass scene from UK’s EastSide Records in 2004. Because he was fascinated by the mystic sound of drone music, he started an art unit named “mooor” with an electronic musician "mullr" and released the first album "elmer and elsie" in 2010. Nozom is also currently working as a composer under his real name, composing soundtracks for video and TV commercials. He enjoys vigorously exploring his creative energy through photography taking artistic photographs of street walls. The cover of Territory is a photograph of paint left by cars who have accidentally scraped against a concrete post.

Territory

The album “Territory” is a soundtrack for an artwork containing nine images of street walls in Tokyo. The collected street sounds were processed to build a personal utopia, which echoed the sounds of city and imitated the real world. The composer collected all sorts of sounds people produced at streets for six years. Being processed with computers, tuned, given the rhythm, those sounds turned into an unknown audio world. In this album sounds created by numerous people and chaotic industrial noises are orchestrated and fused into modern hybrid rhythm. It presents a path of a pioneer who explores an uncharted field.

Composed and Photography by Nonturn
Limited CD : Cover Designed by Takemitsu Takagi

Release date: May 2018

 

Limited Edition Gatefold CD

 

Reviews & Live Updates

  1. Noise Not Music

    Territory is “a soundtrack for an artwork containing nine images of street walls in Tokyo.” Fittingly, the album is entirely composed from sounds recorded on and around those streets; a fact I probably would never have guessed, considering that it is one of the most lush and melodic electronic albums I’ve heard this year. The heavily processed recordings are tuned, rearranged, and sculpted into enticingly beautiful compositions, that ebb and flow with just as much energy as the busy roads they came from. “Evidence,” one of the record’s most immediate pieces, displays the wide spectrum of elements Nonturn (Nozom Yoneda) utilizes, its sonic palette ranging from warbling melodic tones to recognizable clips of objects crashing onto the ground. And here is where the true power of Territory becomes apparent; the more you listen, the origins of the sounds become more apparent; rumbling bass from an idling car stereo, an engine being started, the scraping of tires against pavement, and even the barely audible chirping of birds can all be picked out with an attentive ear. Yoneda finds the delicate, perfect balance between the manipulated and the unaltered, making Territory  as gorgeous and impactful as it could possibly be.

  2. A Closer Listen

    The cover image contains paint, but it’s not a painting; it’s the scraped paint left by cars confronting a concrete post. The surrealistic swirl extends to the music as well. Territory may contain field recordings, but it’s not a field recording album; it’s the electronic impression created by Nonturn as he scraps sonic flecks and pieces from the streets of Tokyo.

    Over a period of several years, Nozom Yoneda wandered the streets of Tokyo, recording footsteps and airplanes, conversation and collisions.  He took the sounds home, lined them up, layered them, and began to discern the pulse of the city, the rhythm of the streets.  Then he began a laborious process of organization, creating a new architectural framework on which to fasten these fragments.  An early example of related work is Coldcut & Hexstatic’s “Natural Rhythm,” recorded in 1997.  Technology has advanced exponentially since then, as has the proliferation of noise.  As a result, Territory is rife with metal, signal and horn, as distant from the jungle as a cellphone from a stream.  Counter-intuitively, it’s not cold.  Yoneda’s love for his city is injected into every piece as a taming of chaos, a sloughing of rough edges.  Tracks such as “Evidence” possess the inviting warmth of a calliope.  The music doesn’t walk robotically across Shibuya Station; it dances, pauses, pirouettes.  In “Compassion,” the apparent sounds of a jackhammer are muted to levels so low they become as unthreatening as a prayer wheel.

    The music blurs the boundary between organic and inorganic.  Does “Undefined” start with rain on a heavy awning, or studio manipulation?  The title implies that the confusion is intentional.  If we are no longer able to tell if a sound is natural or unnatural, have we become too immersed in industry?  When we gravitate more to the sounds of the streets than to those of the wild, does our acclimation contain a survival value?  Or has something been lost?  While Yoneda may not be asking these questions, they remain inherent in his work.  He finds music in the sounds of his daily encounters, and produces an inorganic set with an organic sheen, a sonic representation of a potted plant in the window of a city apartment.  Tokyo may be dominated by glass and steel and electronic devices, but these are not necessarily a threat; in the hands of Nonturn, they become a territory.  (Richard Allen)

  3. Sound & Recording Magazine

    Although the album “Territory” was created only by environmental sounds, Nonturn’s composing skills were too excellent for the audience to recognize it. His creation is a delicate and aggressive electronica representing his world of photography.

  4. Igloo Magazine

    Nonturn (aka Nozom Yoneda) captures visceral slabs of found-sounds and organizes them in a way that is rhythmic, clinical, and oftentimes pleasantly chaotic. Dipping slightly into microscopic drone spheres for Territory, Nonturn evades genre pigeonholes. Tracks like “Evidence” capture the outside world, its disjointed bits and bobbles, samples them into a stream of subconscious, and eventually allows itself to flourish into the unknown. Sure, some may discover experimental clicks and cuts along the way (ie. “Appreciate” and “Platform”), but it is the synchronicity between organic and mechanical elements that galvanizes Territory and its longterm effects. The atonal musical arrangements, shifting sonic organisms, and dense minimalism from start to end, is a 49-minute discovery that continues to unravel with each listen. As these nine miniatures each hover at the 5-minute mark, Nonturn paints an aural canvass made from processed field-recordings and scattered noises yet somehow manages to temper the turbulence with control and clarity.

  5. Beach Sloth

    Nonturn embraces an urban quality on the raw visceral grooves of “Territory”. Over the course of the album Nonturn displays a broken, lo-fi hip-hop sensibility throughout the entirety of the journey. This leads the album a physicality to it, for the beats have a tactile sensibility at times, as if Nonturn stumbled upon these beats out in the wild. By opting for this sort of style, placed alongside the warm melodies that linger throughout, the songs have a soulfulness to them that helps bring everything together into a coherent, satisfying whole.

    “Identify” sets the tone of the album: at times industrial, at other points more ambient, Nonturn strikes a careful balance between both worlds. A bluesy contemplative temperament takes over on the hypnotic swells of “Platform”. Playful to its very core, “Evidence” jumps around with a wide variety of stylistic twists and turns, almost veering into glitch. For a few moments Nonturn even seems to hint at a steadier rhythm yet always keeps this freewheeling improvised spirit. Churning sounds and anxiety reigns supreme on the tension-filled “Compassion”. Heavier in scope “Undefined” feels somewhat ominous. Referencing Autechre with great vigor the fractured beats of “Significant” make it one of the album highlights, as Nonturn builds things up just right. Psychedelic elements flow into the wonderful weird of “Involve”. Nicely concluding everything is the wash of “Desensitize”.

    With “Territory” Nonturn goes for a clever approach, creating a unique vision of something deeply felt and emotionally moving.

  6. Vital Weekly

    Nozom Yoneda is the man behind Nonturn and is from Tokyo. Following an extensive study of classical music, blues, jazz, club music and experimental music he started in drum 'n bass in 2004, while starting also to play drone music with someone called mullr as Mooor. These days he works under his own name on composing soundtracks for video and TV commercials and as Nonturn he "collects environmental sounds and makes rhythmic and cinematic music using his harvested audio". Audiobulb didn't spare on the cover, a nice fold out of street images in Tokyo (sadly a bit too tight in the slipcase; I had some problems getting the package out), say the world in which the sources for this music were taped and perhaps also as an inspiration for further treatments. In his sampling methods there is a love for the shorter cut-ups and computer processing, the world of Oval and Fennesz perhaps, and I would think it is a reflection of the buzzy, humming and thrilling electricity of a world city like Tokyo.


    Light flash everywhere, there is sound everywhere (and yes, I know, there are parts of Tokyo which are really quiet) and it is very crowded. On almost every level of the music there seems to be something happening, but in each of the nine pieces rhythm of some kind is a constant factor. Not necessarily these are beats to dance to, not at all actually, but sometimes a sense of über-rhythm is surely present. It is more alike the soundtrack for a busy and noisy environment and it would be a bit much to say this is industrial music, but it certainly leans towards that world at times; a somewhat heavier set of techno music, for instance in 'Appreciate', one of the more conventional pieces, along with 'Significant', which is rather simple in approach, I thought. The album moves back and forth between these more regular approaches and more abstract pieces and the level of field recordings being abstracted or played throughout also changes, so altogether it makes up quite a nicely varied disc.

  7. Normal Records

    Territory is the soundtrack to the streets of Tokyo. Nozom Yoneda, as Nonturn made field recording in the city and collated them to produce an idealised vision of his city. Yoneda has had a go at just about every style of music and has drawn on the diversity of his experience to a produce a work that is both ambitious, and personal.