Lost & Found: aus reflects on his new album

5 Minute Read

An interview with the Japanese musician aus following a unique rebuild of his studio and musical outlook in the wake of a burglary.

The story behind ‘Everis’ is most unique and unusual. This is the name of the latest album from Japanese musician aus who is rebuilding his perspective toward music following a high profile incident which lead to the loss of years of work.

A major burglary at his home studio and label headquarters resulted in the loss of his entire catalogue of completed and work-in-progress music.

What’s worse? The music itself was stolen by another famous Japanese musician.

The case gained notoriety and attention and left aus, real name Yasuhiko Fukuzono, to pick up the pieces he had lost in the wake of a cruel and calculated theft.


Armed with only some basic stems salvaged from an audio/video installation project he had been working on with contemporary artist Karin Zwack, Fukuzono set about combining the long- existent melodies in his head with the video and remaining field recordings on his phone, in order to create musical synapses between memories which had
remained unconnected.

Fukuzono states:

“In doing so, I wanted to show that lost memories exist everywhere, without themselves, and are connected to the present. Like a Ekaki Uta [a Japanese drawing song] I wanted to convey the image of a circle in which all memories overlap.”

We spoke to Yasuhiko to find out more and discuss the unique circumstances behind the release of the new album:

Tell us about the inspiration for this new record?

“There are so many things out there in certain moments of the past that I have seen and lived through. In any given scene that I was watching or listening to, there must have also been other scenes that I didn’t see. There is something that exists behind me in that setting that I am experiencing. I was forced to remember, having lost a memory, so I tried to find and recreate a new perspective in a different way, retrieving that memory again.

There is an inversion of excess and minimalism to express each moment. Each of them is also connected like a Japanese pictorial song, to form and create a specific detail. In 2017 our label HQ at FLAU was burgled, from which I lost my entire catalogue of completed and work-in-progress music, as a direct result of this I decided to create something away from the precarious confines of my PC and more from the inner sanctum of my mind.”

How did the music community react to the burglary?

“The burglary was carried out by a guy called Ametsub, a well-known electronic musician in Japan, so it was very big news. As he was a very popular artist, most of the people in the music industry involved were silent at first. In Japan, it is easy for anyone to throw stones from a distance, but everyone tends to be silent about nearby evils. In fact, a very famous festival in Japan even booked him anonymously. FLAU artist Cuushe, was also badly affected by physical and online harassment.

Finally, those at Blueberry Records, who released his music, condemned what he did, as did the Japanese music industry. However, there are probably still fans who are eagerly awaiting his return and are horrified by the fact that he has cleverly erased his criminal history from online.”

How did losing everything inform the way you created the new album/sound?

“I was making electronic music that was all about detail – the combination and overlapping of sounds, and I couldn’t recreate it from where it was lost. I also realised then that I was obsessed with the past.

Of course, what is in my head cannot be stolen. So I realised that I had a lot of melodies that I had from long ago, melodies that I had heard on my travels. And I had a mobile phone at hand that was not stolen, where I found many recordings and videos that had nothing to do with music at all. I was also sent back some sound material from a video installation that the Munich artist Karin Zwack had, and that was the start. Having lost the hardware equipment I had been using, I had to move to software.”


Are there any new techniques that you would continue to use, moving forward?

“Previously, I used to use all the hard instruments I owned to create sounds very carefully, but now I’m focusing on preset sounds first and then editing afterwards; ‘searching’ more than ‘creating’, and I think that will be the same in the future. I’ve realised that any number of ways of layering can turn things into something unique.

Also, for many years I have wanted to bring a chamber music sound to the fore. It was also important for me to reaffirm that there are great players like Kumi Takahara and Henning Schmiedt nearby.”

What is the overall message that you wanted to convey with these new songs?

“I don’t have a particular message that I wanted to convey because music is personal to me. But on a personal note, through that burglary, I felt like my music had no value. I mean, because my masterpieces (ha!) that were lost, were never heard by anyone and no one cared.

Even if the expectations and appreciation from people close to me and people in the industry were scarce, if I keep pushing for what I want to express myself, someone else in the world might find it, even if no one is there. Above all, you can be happy with the result, which is great enough. Ever is.”

Buy the new release HERE.