Yasuo Sugibayashi’s music is always a rediscovery, and this year it happened again with a special kind of force. Hard to remember given its complexity, and hard to place given its uncompromising character, The Mask of the Imperial Family (Mimic Records, 1981) will always please those who tend to hear music as an expression of freedom and unique personality. This music demands that you understand it as the form of something absolutely unrepeatable. It is the work of that musician, in that time, expressed with no other constraints.
This year, this record reminded us again of what music and all art is supposed to be. We do take great consolation in the fact that one of these days we will rediscover it once again.
Niagara’s latest ambient record, ‘Magna Moralia’, is now available through Disciples. Stream it in full below, and look out for ‘Parva Naturalia’ — a compilation of “banging deep cuts” from the trio’s dense back catalogue — on February 2nd.