ToneShift  by TJ Norris 


Broken into two untitled pieces that run just under twenty minutes each per side comes Brilliant Days from Japanese musician/producer Michiru Aoyama. Through and through this is a jewel-toned ambient record with a pace that rings of other traditional music from Japan, mostly meaning that it takes time and care to unfold, to blossom. These are guitar string manipulations that sound like a harp, and may as well be chimes and static as the sounds emanating are powerfully induced by an austere softness that quenches the tired mind.

After about ten minutes the piece fades out and re-emerges after about a minute with a more robust, saucer-shaped drone, hovering and playing on the in/out of depth of field. It’s a very shaped sound with edges that are fuzzy and breaking free. And yet other transitions are made hereafter, stretched chords are added as are other sparse percussive effects with supplemental reverb. Aoyama’s sound is bright without being too lightweight, even when it dips into its more pensive moments.

When you flip the wax platter the listener will be in for a continuation of delightful textural effects that have a seemingly more ‘live’ feel, perhaps it’s a bit of open air mics and static electricity? Any which way you hear this will be up for personal interpretation – but clearly Brilliant Days is a sweet ambient surprise this season. It has tonalities that uplift, even as they are breaking apart, in this way you begin to understand the beauty in   its organic nature of erosion, of change. Playing on the soft and jagged sides of rhythm and its tendency for natural breaks, of mimicking the way in which the Earth surrounds us and constantly shifts – especially in our times of major climate challenges.

Melody and atonality, so disparate, yet Aoyama pairs the paradox. Though in total I can appreciate quiet dips in the program, though upon re-emergence they do seem to be a fairly new vignette, like a new rack rather than a straight long-player. It doesn’t disrupt as much as points the ear in a new direction. This record is all about tonal coloration, exploration of timbre, sound width and near transcendental meditation as we get into the weeds of the final half dozen minutes. And just then things shift once more to a rush of static that sounds like a dozen amplified ice skates hitting the surface in layers, slashing, sloshing, it is quite a linear set of enigmatic effects. And slowly fades, end scene.


disk Union


USカリフォルニアのアンビエントニューレーベル<MIRAE ARTS>からの2ndリリース!

<SHIMMERING MOODS><ORGANICINDUSTRIES>などの主要アンビエントレーベルからもリリースのある邦人アンビエントプロデューサーMICHIRU AOYAMAによる、非常に丁寧なつくりに胸をうたれるアンビエント。繊細な電子音の重なりが儚く、幼い頃の思い出を呼び覚ますようなノスタルジックな作品です。



 I’d not heard of Michiru Aoyama until I stumbled across the absolutely gorgeous Brilliant Days, his new LP for Californian label Mirae Arts. Shimmering with refracted light, Brilliant Days is best listened to on a brilliant day, basking in the sun, amidst the trees and the birds. The curious sounds, beautiful looping melodies and more traditional guitar work are the perfect accompaniment for a stroll through your nearest park/woods/forest - wherever you can escape to. Absolutely one of my favourite releases of 2018, and the vinyl is still very much available - go grab it whilst you still can!


 繊細なエレクトロニカ作品!アメリカのカリフォルニアから新たに出現してきた最新レーベルMirae Artsのセカンド・リリースは、Organic IndustriesやSomehow Recordings、Shimmering Moods Recordsなどでも作品を発表する鎌倉のクリエイターMichiru Aoyamaによるニュー・シングルがリリース!気持ち良いアンビエントなムードで作りこまれたエレクトロニカ・トラック!非常に芸術性高くまとめ上げられたクオリティ豊かな作品!オススメです!!

Lykkelig in 金沢

 アメリカはカリフォルニアの2018年に立ち上げられた新興レーベル『Mirae Arts』の第2弾は、鎌倉在住のアンビエント・プロデューサー“Michiru Aoyama”(青山ミチル)による3年振りのニュー・アルバム!




New tone(Akie)in 大阪

 邦人アンビエントアーティストMichiru Aoyamaの「Brilliant Days」が、カリフォルニア新興レーベル〈MIRAE ARTS〉から到着。電子音の粒子が呼び起こすノスタルジック・アンビエント。歪みとフィルターが精妙に施されたギターハーモニクスとシンセサイザー。

坂本龍一がナビゲーターを務める「Radio Sakamoto」のオーディションに三度入選、映画音楽の制作にも数多く携わってきた青山ミチル。アンビエント優良レーベル〈TAÂLEM〉〈ORGANIC INDUSTRIES〉にも作品を残す鎌倉シーサイドが生んだ奇才の最新アルバムが登場。20分弱の無題の長編トラック2曲で構成された「Brilliant Days」は、まさにその名が示す通り、輝かしい日々を想起させるノスタルジックな仕上がり。浮遊感のあるギターの旋律を基調にしたアンビエント。電子音の歪みと軋むノイズが重なることで、遠い過去を想起するときのような朧げな美しさを再現。200枚限定プレスの重量盤ダウンロードコード付き、アートワーク含め本当に綺麗な一枚。(sample1と2はA面、sample3はB面を録音してます。)

Slow Breathing Circuit

 Japanese ambient music-maker Michiru Aoyama comes from the idyllic town of Kamakura, outside Tokyo.  He’s been releasing music for over a decade, getting props from Ryuichi Sakamoto and contributing to many noteworthy labels’ catalogues along the way.

His latest album, Brilliant Days, is the sophomore vinyl release for young California label Mirae Arts.  Over two stunning (and lengthy) tracks, Aoyama weaves together vaporous clouds of ambient guitar and bright, ethereal electronic noise.  Save this for one of your “brilliant days,” one of those days that transcends the stress, routine, and errands, the hurried turning of minutes into hours, and lets you simply live for a change.


Vital Weekly



Here we have a new label, run by Elbert Choi, who is originally from South Korea and now living in 
El Cerrito, California. The first release was by Seraphim Rythm (not reviewed in these pages) and 
now the second record has been released, with music by Michiru Aoyama. He's been active since 
2010 and has some releases on Somehow Recordings, Organic Industries, Shimmering Moods 
Records, Nama Recordings, Tedio Recs and the only thing I heard, which was his 3"CDR by 
Taalem, which served as a first, brief introduction. On this LP, his first outing on vinyl, he calls both 
sides 'Untitled', which may suggest there is only one piece per side, but that is not the case. The 
first side has two pieces and the second side has four pieces, so effectively six different pieces. 
Like with that Taalem release, I really have no idea what Aoyama does to create his music, but I 
have very strong suspicions that it is all made with that little box you can also check your e-mail 
and update your Facebook status, the laptop. Whatever he feeds the gremlins inside the laptop is 
unknown for the listener. My best guess is that a guitar is never far away, but that is merely a guess, 
but it is a guess based on what Mirae Arts say on the Bandcamp site; "Michiru’s signature guitar 
harmonics are treated with serene electronic filters and met with youthful under-layers of electronic 
experimentations and glitchy backdrops". And glitchy backdrops there are surely plenty of those. 
Cold, sparkling, crackling, like broken twigs on trees going about in the wind, but with a bit of delay 
and reverb to make a slightly more robust sound. All along the guitar spaces out, fed through loops, 
more reverb, and landing on a bed of lots of overtones that make this is all quite warm and lush. A 
fine pairing of something that is maybe 'sweet' (the drones) and 'angular' (the glitches). It is music 
that reminded me of the best of Oval in their more ambient days, post '94 Diskont'; it's not always as 
delicate as some of the other glitch drone artists do, and that's what I like about this record. It is 
within something you know and love, but also has it's something of it's own voice, but it a bit 
stranger and alien than you would expect, so there is some surprise in there as well. This is 
certainly something that you need to seek out something new in the vast universe of warm 
glitch drones. (FdW)
––– Address:


Nama recordings 


We are proud to showcase more Japanese talent in a brand new EP by Michiru Aoyama. Known for his haunting ambient tracks and his sense for art in all kind of forms he is definitely an artistic force to be reckoned with. Now he makes his debut at our imprint with his well-crafted EP called 'Loop'. Michiru delivers stunning track with intriguing guitar riffs, atmospheric pads beautiful melodic delays the track quickly turns in a melodic masterpiece.


Andrew Odd aka Timewave shows a totally different take on the original where deep space vibes and dynamic atmospheric pad layers dominate by rhythmic percussive drums and deep bass-line giving this remix distinctive character.


Moshimos showcases a memorable piece of art with a beautiful atmospheric Soundscape sound design that will will intrigue the listener to a whole new emotional level. 

Disquiet  Marc

about my track「ストレートディテール」

Michiru Aoyama’s glorious new track (Google Translate is failing thus far on this one’s title) is a sweeping, four-minute expanse of sonic cloud formations that turn round and round inside themselves. Glimmers surface and then become the foregrounded sound, only for another theme to pierce the veil and, at a slow pace, subsume everything that had preceded it. The piece isn’t grounded so much as tied to ocean imagery, for amid the haze is the sort of creaking that comes from a taut rope on a boat.


about my track 「www」

The four minutes of “Www” by Michiru Aoyama barely surface above the level of white noise. There is the constant dead-signal churn of nano-particulate sound, a cloud of tiny brittle things made soft through motion and spaciousness. Within them exists a deep, breath-like hum. Perhaps it is the wind that moves them. Perhaps it is the result of their motion. Perhaps it is some entity they mask. Perhaps it is the entity they become when grouped en masse. Whatever the fiction, the result is an encompassing sonic space.



about my track「パラレル」

 The white noise could be static or surf. The hum could be hushed vocals or a deep sine wave. The piece is “パラレル” — which I believe translates to parallel. It’s a track by Michiru Aoyama, who is based in Kamakura, Japan, and it is a blissful slice of determined ambient music. Tonally is is consistent and remote, the sort of thing that requires a fair amount of concentration to accept as foreground listening. What distinguishes it as a composition is how it unfolds, in particular a pause about a minute in and then again about a minute before the five-minute piece comes to a close. Both quiet moments remind the ear of the sonic content, waking you up to the atmospherics just as they get underway and just as they begin their slow fade to silence.


Norman Records Laurie



Shimmering Moods, the most honestly-named record label on the planet. No sooner had I hit the play button than I was greeted by a calming ambient swell, but what’s this? Some very interesting shimmer here, like a bath full of watery insects with an incense stick burning. Bliss.

Bliss is the word for Aoyama’s music, as you’d expect from ‘Moods, it’s all twinkly and carefully layered. Soft noise washes up and down the spectrum doing its best to mimic waves on a beach, which is coincidentally featured in the artwork. Literal ambient? Why not, journalists coin all sorts of bullshit to describe the weird thing we call music. Of course, you’ve got the indistinct melodic swells that ambient records can’t be released without, as well as some fuzz to counteract it. I’m trying to dismiss this in my head as ‘just another ambient thing’ but it’s just too peaceful so I’ll give up on that.

Disk union Tokyo shop 


鎌倉在住のアンビエントコンポーザーMICHIRU AOYAMAによる4th.アルバム「In a Dream」が登場。日々の生活の中で疲弊し逆立った神経を一本一本トリートメントして行くように慈悲深く、時に畏敬の念をも抱かせる筋の通った清麗なアンビエント傑作。リラクシンはもちろんメディテーションにも効果的。偶に背筋を正したくなる純粋な音。

Raffaello Rosso

Il titolo del brano d’apertura del quarto lavoro sulla lunga distanza di Michiru Aoyama suona un po’ come un manifesto programmatico: “To You, Relax” è insieme una dedica e un suggerimento, ma anche l’evidente finalità estetica dell’artista giapponese musicalmente formatosi a Berlino.Tutte le nove tracce di “In A Dream” perseguono tale intento, attraverso un delicato amalgama di layers sintetici, esili drone e frammenti naturalistici concreti sotto forma di field recordings.L’universo sonoro materializzato da Aoyama appare tuttavia ben distante da una concezione di rilassamento new age, bilanciando invece un saldo carattere organico con la consistenza immateriale di modulazioni ambientali purissime.


Paul (Shimmering Moods Records owner)


Michiru Aoyama is a 29 year old ambient composer from Kyoto. He studied electronic music in Berlin and the result of that journey led him to ambient music. Fast forward a couple of years and the young producer has managed to showcase an understanding of experimental music that rivals that of already established artists in the genre. His most recent piece, which holds the title “In A Dream” will be a true soundtrack for the ambient aficionado worldwide. The album opener To You, Relax, gently leads the listener into a warm and calm world where the noise of everyday life seems too far to notice and too soft to interrupt. Relaxation seems to be the name of the game and Aoyama sounds like a capable game master. Sparse layers of synths are laid on top of gentle drones and waves of field recordings and the result is a wonderfully serene experience. The music is exactly what it should be and nowhere does it feel like it becomes overly ambitious or eclectic, which does wonders for the consistency of the overall sound. Pure, organic sounding ambient music by Michiru Aoyama for Shimmering Moods Records. Highly limited CD, 100 hand-numbered copies with beautiful artwork in a special package with numbered photos.

ROSS DEVLIN (Tyny mix tapes)


In the summer, my Japanese doppelgänger, sporting a slightly different haircut and similar outfit to myself, is sitting in a forest drinking a glass bottle of pop and running his free hand through the grass in a steady rhythm. In the city, the rhythm is created for you and affects your heart rate. It affects the rate of your speech. You find yourself speeding up for no reason, he thinks. Out in the forest, you must create the rhythm yourself. Nature is infinitely random, but only up to a point where it is calculable, and then it is infinitely systematic. Before you find this point, he thinks, you must make sense of the randomness through rhythm. There are fireflies out – some seem very close, and he considers catching one in the now empty pop bottle, which the grass has furled around to clutch like a nest. Fireflies often appear close, but they are always far away. This is the way of all natural things: you can predict their position, and you can predict their momentum, but never both at the same time.

All things can be examined this way.

I have never been to Japan. I would accept an invitation to go without reticence. Japan seems like a country among few where intense, mindless consumption of the “hyperassimilation” way can co-exist with equally intense mindfulness.

Michiru Aoyama is a mindful experimental artist, and he takes into account the uncertainty – the unknowable-ness – of nature when composing. His graphical explanation of ambient music illustrates this perfectly. Some of his music seems frenetic, as simply a imperfect human reaction to the perfect stillness of nature. “ほたる” (“firefly”) is meditative, mindful ambient at its most calculated, with similar intentions of artists like Nicholas Szczepanick and Adam Worthan. Inspired by the patterned language of insects, the song transpires in quiet, slight movements, like the slow wave of a conductor’s hand.ほたる

David No Magic Man Records Owner)


Michiru Aoyama -音は光る-

Michiru Aoyama's "The Sound Is Shining" is one of our favourite discoveries of the year. Another fantastic release from the Organic Industries label, this album is ambience at its best. The record is imbued with a sense of cosmic drift but at times swells with a richness often lacking in ambient music. Simply stunning and highly recommended.

Andre Gansebohm ( Organic Industries Owner)


Michiru Aoyama -音は光る-

Michiru Aoyama visits his temple in the wee hours of morning and meditates until all “sound and non-sound begin to have a meaning” and shine for him. In these eight striking miniatures, he illuminates that meaning for us by melding, in the Zen spirit of forerunner John Cage, artifice, nature and technology.
Similarly perhaps to the feeling experienced while meditating, time passes rapidly. Aoyama first clears the cluttered mind with the exquisitely chiming and rotating “Air of Japan,” before lifting into a series of ambient washes and drones which do indeed dissolve the boundary between the microcosmos and the rest of the galaxy. Some are pure nothingness/everythingness drift, like “Slow Moment” and “Ginga,” some, like “Lake” and “Drop” descend deeply, and one, “A Summer without You,” is so freighted with emotion as to be wrenching. With 音は光る (The Sound Is Shining), Aoyama wordlessly reiterates the categorical Buddhist imperative against a worldview that segregates mind, body and environment.


Timo David Brice (somehowrecordings Owner)


Michiru Aoyama - About Alice -

Having clicked on his website, I instantly enjoyed viewing his webpages and more important, his sounds. Michiuru has produced a beautiful textured album for Somehow which embarks on a journey of short fluxed pieces that have a certain feel of well being. They attract you to the height, then delicately let you go, once you feel you are fully with them.

My favorite track throughout this beautifully scored album, is Invisible, truly atmospheric and full in it's sound. I think Aoyama has big big albums left in his armory, and we at Somehow sincerely hope he moves forward with ease.

Limited copies available at Somehow.

Michiru Aoyama - About Alice - SR53