Yoshio Machida - Hypernatural #2

Alien collage soundscapes

  • Label: Softlmusic
  • Catalog Number: som 101
  • Year: 2001

Yoshio Machida is a Japanese musician and artist whose mostly self-released catalog dates back to the late '90s. Hypernatural #2 holds the unique distinction of being the first release on Köln-based boutique electronic imprint Softlmusic, sister to legendary label Tomlab, whose curatorial acumen at the turn of the millennium brought wider attention to such legendary indie-tronica acts as Rafael Toral, Tujiko Noriko, and The Books.

The album, Machida's second from 2001, is a collection of 8 sonic miniatures. Each a self-contained exploration of neatly defined sound sources, both electronic and environmental. He combines tastefully processed stems into instrumental mantras and concrete bagatelles, building evocative scenes from a modicum of sonic materials. Rudimentary digital manipulations sit in stark contrast with analog field recordings, producing an uneasy bricolage that sits stubbornly out of time and tradition. The liner notes hint at hypnogogia and travel, and the transportive vibe is hard to miss. 

Hypernatural #2 disc and insert

Every track is compelling on its own terms, but the album's most enduring moments come via signature flourishes of performance. Machida's solemn steel drum improvisations on Radiant Wind and Daydreams and jump-scare cutups care of collaborator Aki Onda on Afterimage elevate the release from a typical concrete-lineage ambient experiment into something entirely more bizarre and intriguing. 

Not a peep on the 'net about this one so far, so grab the OG disc on the cheap on Discogs, or DL the whole trip here


  1. 1. Potential - 6:32
  2. 2. Radiant Wind - 3:32
  3. 3. Malaria - 4:43
  4. 4. Afterimage - 4:47
  5. 5. Valley - 4:59
  6. 6. The Polar Lights - 5:50
  7. 7. Deep Sound Channel - 5:32
  8. 8. Daydreams - 4:35