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Maya Ongaku Share New Video For “Melting”- Debut Album “Approach to Anima” Out Now on Guruguru Brain

June 3, 2023


Share new video “Melting”
Confirmed to play Le Guess Who? 2023
Debut album ‘Approach to Anima’ out now on Guruguru Brain

Maya Ongaku share a video for “Melting”, taken from their debut album, ‘Approach to Anima’ which was released on Friday, May 29th, via the label run by members of Kikagaku Moyo to share feel-good sounds from across Asia, Guruguru Brain. Along with the new video, they have announced a European live show at Le Guess Who? Festival in the Netherlands – more European dates to follow soon.

“Melting” is a dreamy, delicate cut from the band’s debut album, where gently crunching percussion layers with floating saxophone and vocal melodies. It encapsulates the understated, mellow sunny-day mood of the record and has been brought to life with a beautifully shot day-dream vignette, directed by Itsuki Yoshizawa.

This intimate push on the compelling melody commences the release with the sweeter percussive beats, immediately this atmospherical landscape engulfs the audience as they embark on this journey with the outfit. Maya Ongaku builds such moving compositions that reflect this lasting, illustrious soundscape. Their charm is found in every attribute that carefully weaves together to form this striking setting. They perfect this sentiment in their vision that moves and alters the listener throughout.

Hailing from the seaside communities surrounding Enoshima, a small island located 50 km southwest of Tokyo, Maya Ongaku is a ragtag collective of local musicians whose brand of earthy psychedelia transcends widely beyond the roots of their inner souls. The name derives not from any kind of ancient civilization, but rather a neologism defined as the imagined view outside one’s field of vision. The band—currently a trio of Tsutomu SonodaRyota Takano, and Shoei Ikeda—finds sanctuary at the Ace General Store, a beachy vintage shop and salon-like space just hidden from sight from the bustling, touristy riverside Subana Street. Between discussions on music and art, curating the vinyl section and manning the register, and chatting up with locals young and old, the members find time to jam and record their spontaneous ideas in the studio tucked away in the back. It’s in this unlikely setting where Maya Ongaku finds its origins, the culmination of what Sonoda describes as 自然発生 (shizen hassei), meaning spontaneous generation, or the supposed production of living organisms from non-living matter.
‘Approach to Anima’, the group’s debut album, to be released on Guruguru Brain next month, finds Maya Ongaku building a foundational groove while tapping into their innermost psyche. Sonoda’s malleable guitar and vocals, Takano’s sinuous bass lines, Ikeda’s floating woodwinds, and a sprinkling of delicate percussion—all coalesce into an aural experience that’s assertive yet abstract, calm but unsettling. The slow building, sax-laden “Approach”serves as an introduction to Maya Ongaku’s world, while the appropriately-named “Water Dream” floats its way toward the gentle finale of “Pillow Song.” It’s a concise distillation of their many interests and influences, from Neo-Dada and Fluxus, to where contemporary art intersects with the development of modern recording technology in the ‘60s and ‘70s.

As the title suggests, ‘Approach to Anima’ is not intended to be a terminus; it’s merely the beginning of an exploration. The three childhood friends that comprise Maya Ongaku are always looking beyond the confines of the idyllic but rapidly gentrifying enclave of their beloved Enoshima. Feeding off the energy that still radiates from the triumphant, decade-long journey of their label bosses’ band Kikagaku Moyo, who Maya Ongaku supported at their final show in Tokyo last year, they hope to go wherever inspiration takes them, to anywhere around the globe where their music can find a home.
Ultimately, Maya Ongaku’s uninhibited world-building will make it possible for us to see the unseen, expand the possibilities of the naked eye—all through the unbridled vibrancy of their music.

‘Approach to Anima’ is out now on Guruguru Brain – listen to/order it here. Maya Ongaku will play Le Guess Who? Festival in the Netherlands Nov 9-12, 2023. More European dates to follow soon.
‘Approach to Anima’ track list:
1. Approach
2. Nuska
3. Description Of A Certain Sound
4. Melting
5. Something In The Morning Rain
6. Rakusui
7. Water Dream
8. Pillow Song

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