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Fluctuations - Kazuma Okabayashi Latest Album on Maldesoule

Congratulations, your album is absolutely astounding as I've heard. BRC wishes it’s success and I hope this interview aids it a little bit. This interview intends to discover the depths of the album that listeners wouldn't understand without a little aid from its maker.

Hey Kazuma, congratulations on an absolutely astounding album! What was the inspiration behind this body of work?

Thank you! For this album, I aimed to create music that blends into the city. In that sense, the inspiration for this work goes beyond the bedroom, which is the home base for ambient music, and I see it as a form of escape from the vague anxiety that exists within society.

Did you face any delays or creative blocks while creating this album? How did you overcome these obstacles?

While working on this album, I consciously focused on creating longer tracks that wouldn't be tiring to listen to throughout the entire album and prioritized making the music pleasing to the ear. Although these are basic principles of ambient music, I couldn't compromise on them. To overcome these challenges, I incorporated elements that let the listener feel the rhythm and applied excessive saturation, ultimately giving the sound a lo-fi finish.

Why ‘Fluctuations’?

"Fluctuations" is a recurring theme in my music, and it's something I'm always conscious of throughout my musical endeavors. For this album, I specifically used instruments like the Moog Matriarch, an analog synthesizer that symbolizes "fluctuations," as well as guitars. My goal was to blend the "fluctuations" of the sound with the emotional "fluctuations" that arise from the anxieties experienced by people living in modern society, ultimately aiming for a flattened effect.

Is there one emotion you would associate with this album? What memories do you associate with this ambient journey you have created?

This album expresses the feeling of frustration when the goal you've worked so hard to reach turns out to be someone else's starting line. I believe I was able to thoughtfully represent the personal struggles that can be felt particularly in this era.

What did you hope to convey to the listener?

What I wanted to convey to the listeners is that taking a step forward might feel like being thrown into the vast ocean, overwhelmed by anxiety. However, if you don't give up and keep shouting, you can cooperate with others who are trying to reach the same destination and embark on a shared journey.

What instruments, samples or synthesizers did you heavily use while working on ‘Fluctuations’?

I heavily used the Moog Matriarch, guitars, and several plugins for this album.

Do your compositions usually come to you in a single flow or are there any challenges you faced from a compositional aspect?

My style begins with creating and recording phrases. From there, I apply various processing to the sounds. One challenge I faced was being particular about creating a mix that wouldn't become too cluttered with multiple sounds.

What was Madesoule’s initial response upon listening to this album? What attracted you to working with & releasing your second with the label?

They told me that among the albums I've made with them, this one was their favorite. My music style changes every two months or so, and I'm very grateful that I could release a different sound this time compared to my previous work.

Thank you for your time & sharing so much with us. We wish you the best with this release! If you have any final thoughts to share, please feel free to do so :) The stage is yours.

Thank you for attempting an interview with someone as reticent as me! I really appreciate it!

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