Saturday 30 December 2023


Tokyo-based artist aus, aka the human producer, DJ and label owner Yasuhiko Fukuzono, has had a busy 2023. "I've hardly been able to catch up on this year's releases," he says. That's probably got something to do with the fact that, for the first time in a few years, he released a new album under his musicmaking moniker.

Titled Everis, and joint released by UK label Lo Recordings and his own (that's flau, by the way), the album was made "in an empty nest" — a labour of love having lost recordings, data and even equipment. "I made it trying to reconnect with my memories from the videos and recordings left on my phone," he says.

The result is a cinematic, emotive release that feels part nebulous lovesong, part Gold Panda. Everis was followed up later by a remix album, Revise, which features reworkings of Fukuzono's original tracks by the likes of Grantby and Patricia Wolf. Next year will see yet more aus music, with an EP and album in the works, as well as more flau releases. "I have a lot of projects in the pipeline at the moment," Fukuzono says. "I'm not going to stop with just this year."

One of these releases, appearing just a few days ago, is a collaboration between Fukuzono and guitarist and actor Ryosuke Nagaoka. Titled LAYLAND, the collaborative release is a cocktail of crafted experimental beatscapes and improvised guitar odysseys. As an aside, Nagaoka is played the titular role of ancient strategist Zhuge Liang (shoutout to all the Dynasty Warriors fans out there) in a live-action adaptation of the manga Paripi Kōmei.

But on this note of hoping for a nice and busy 2024, not to mention a successful one, we're very happy to introduce aus's top music of 2023, looking back over a year of lounge-laden funk, delicate dream pop, and everything in between. Though admittedly being in a constant state of discovering and buying years-old releases, fresh new music nevertheless made its way to Fukuzono: "These are some of the great songs I found this year." Read on ☟

Maxine Funke – River Said

Yasuhiko Fukuzono: Wonderful singer from NZ.

'River Said' is the title track from the singer-songwriter's April-released album.

Sven Wunder – Take A Break

YF: Music genius.

Taken from Stockholm-based composer Sven Wunder's September-released album, Late Again

Virginia Astley – The Singing Places

YF: Surprise of the year.

Taken from English singer-songwriter Virginia Astley's 2023 26-minute, one-track release The Singing Places.

Charif Megarbane – Pas de Dialogue

YF: Genius.

This track appears on the 2023 album Marzipan by Lebanese composer, musician and producer Charif Megarbane. It is the first full contemporary release by Berlin-based label Habibi Funk.

John Beltran – As the Sunsets

YF: He made a remix for me, all-time wonderful.

Beltran remixed 'Landia' on Fukuzono's 2023 Revise, the remix follow-up to his sparkling release at the start of the year, Everis. 'As the Sunsets' appears on Beltran's limited edition 7" Back To Bahia Vol. 3, released by Detroit's very own record shop-meets-wine bar label, MotorCity Wine.

MSD Elementary Music Class – Happiness Runs

YF: Just found from Bandcamp searching, so so lovely.

Performed by the children of MSD Elementary Music Class for their album What's That Sound? (which also includes a cute rendition of 'Let It Be').

Theo Parrish and Maurissa Rose – Spiral Staircase

YF: Always great!

Taken from Free Myself, the collaborative album between Theo Parrish and Maurissa Rose

Hazel English – There She Goes

YF: I love the original, so I love this too of course.

This is a one-off cover by Australian-American artist Hazel English of the 1988 classic 'There She Goes' by English band The La's.

Purelink – 4k Murmurs feat. J

YF: One of the few electronic ones I listened to this year.

This dreamy track is from Brooklyn-based Purelink's September album Signs.

a.s.o. – Love In The Darkness

YF: Reminds me of Seely.

'Love In The Darkness' is taken from Berlin duo a.s.o.'s debut self-titled album.

Ana Frango Elétrico – Electric Fish

YF: Gives big energy.

'Electric Fish' is from the album Me Chama De Gato Que Eu Sou Sua by Rio de Janeiro's very own Ana Frango Elétrico

Photography by Neon Bunny

aus Internet Presence ☟

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