Review: Nonturn – Territory (Audiobulb, May 16)

Territory is “a soundtrack for an artwork containing nine images of street walls in Tokyo.” Fittingly, the album is entirely composed from sounds recorded on and around those streets; a fact I probably would never have guessed, considering that it is one of the most lush and melodic electronic albums I’ve heard this year. The heavily processed recordings are tuned, rearranged, and sculpted into enticingly beautiful compositions, that ebb and flow with just as much energy as the busy roads they came from. “Evidence,” one of the record’s most immediate pieces, displays the wide spectrum of elements Nonturn (Nozom Yoneda) utilizes, its sonic palette ranging from warbling melodic tones to recognizable clips of objects crashing onto the ground. And here is where the true power of Territory becomes apparent; the more you listen, the origins of the sounds become more apparent; rumbling bass from an idling car stereo, an engine being started, the scraping of tires against pavement, and even the barely audible chirping of birds can all be picked out with an attentive ear. Yoneda finds the delicate, perfect balance between the manipulated and the unaltered, making Territory  as gorgeous and impactful as it could possibly be.