The microscopic worlds Futoshi Muroyama brings to life on Yūtai-ridatsu ± (Plus-minus) are bubbling little wonders of joy. Muroyama’s work is effervescent and organic with each piece blooming into a fully-realized sonic narrative. Described as “home-recorded orchestral music,” Yūtai-ridatsu melts together a strange array of software instruments into an expanse of composed psychedelia that’s whimsical and oddly comforting.
After a quick intro, Yūtai-ridatsu bursts open. “にこエレクトロ (Nico Electro)” emerges from a long slumber with repeating staccatos and wheezing leads, taking careful walks into the soft, green grass. Muroyama places stepstones on each step along the golden path. This intoxicating mix of lilting melodies and mysterious undercurrents creates an alternate reality where the streets are aquatic and skyscrapers are built out of neon glass.
Even in the odd angles and surprising mashups, a certain ramshackle beauty materializes. “きっかけ (Kikkake)” is a ceramic junkyard come to life. Rhythmic tones that fit somewhere between metallic and glassy hope along while sanguine little leads dot the pink-hued sky. At 10-minutes long, “やっかいな記憶 (Yakkaina-kioku)” is the longest piece on Yūtai-ridatsu and it makes the most of that sprawl, building slowly like it’s taking and incorporating the changes of its landscape over a millennia. Organ chords rise between the falling rainbow leaves, a bit of statuesque drone for the minimalist, propulsive rhythms to bounce across. Electronics chime with the clouds overhead, moving lazily across the sea.
I don’t know if I’d call this ‘happy’ music, but it consistently makes me smile. Spritely guitar leads dance into the future on the standout title track. This music is so catchy and mesmerizing that it becomes an out-of-body experience. Muroyama lures listeners in with arrangements that are so sweet and sugary that it demands repeated listens. At every turn, Yūtai-ridatsu is an absolute delight. (and bonus points for the incredible cover art!)