Ryonkt is the work of Sapporo based artist Ryo Nakata. In the past couple of years he has become a personal friend, collaborator, label mate and late night whisky drinking partner. We only finally got to meet in September of this year when I went up to Sapporo (in Hokkaido - the northern island of Japan) to play a show organized by Ryo. Ryo was due to open the gig after a short sound-check, yet the sound-check merged into the performance and I was unaware he had actually started I was so tuned into the tones Ryo was playing from his Fender guitar.
As such, people quietly wondered in and just sat down, bowed their heads and became encompassed by the music. Such is the effect of Ryo's work. His music is unassuming, full of memory and deeply moving. There is nothing stylistically complex about it, nothing that makes you think about technique or technology. He uses a laptop, guitar and field recording. He plays a few chords and notes. That really is it, yet what Ryo does with one chord is more than most artists can do across entire albums. There is space to his work, space left for the listener to fill in the blanks. There is melody, oh such beautiful melody, the like of which too few artists truly possess.
'Sunlight & Water' starts and ends with water sounds, but there is a whole lot of sun and light going on throughout these four pieces. Mother Earth rarely had a more beautiful soundtrack. (Ian Hawgood)
released December 1, 2009
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