Interview with Atsuhito Omori of Ex Confusion

Interview with Atsuhito Omori of Ex Confusion

Photograph by Atsuhito Omori

Photograph by Atsuhito Omori

I first came upon Atsuhito Omori's musical project Ex Confusion back in 2011 with the release of his album Too Late, They Are Gone. It was an honor to be able to ask him some questions about his new release Flow (and he was very generous to do so considering English is not his native language.) Flow, released on cassette tape by Orchid Tapes reveals the progression of Atsuhito's writing, embodying a warm and more structured style with quicker chord progressions. This album seems to be perfect for a cassette release as you can hear the natural analogue peaking and compression which significantly fills the room.

Merigold Independent: What is the story behind this album? Was there anything that happened in your life while composing the songs that helped you bring them to life?

Atsuhito Omori: I was taking a bit of time to have a break working on music after I made my last album "With love" on n5MD. Things happened which me made me think for a while and I really needed to find myself. So then when I started working on this album at the end of last year I knew what was missing so this was like collecting all the pieces together. Some of tracks in this album are from my previous EPs but I remixed and re-worked them for this album. I usually don't listen to my previous works once they are done but this time I went back to some older tracks. The label owner of Orchid Tapes is also one of my favorite musicians (Foxes In Fiction) i got very excited when he asked me to release it on his label and I am very happy with the final result.

MI: I noticed you take photos of the beautiful places around where you live, does this have a significant impact in your composition?  

AO: I made the music first then took photos after so I would say no. But I wanted to take something beautiful and soft that fits with the sound. I am glad they turned out pretty well. 

MI: Who are some of your musical inspirations? 

AO: Elliott Smith, Cocteau Twins, Bibio, Jeff Buckley, Boards Of Canada. Gustav Mahler. Chet Baker. These people are special to me.

MI: 'Flow' seems to have a warmer analogue feel to it, were there any different techniques you used in recording this album?

AO: Pretty much the same techniques as usual. I've been using less computer since "Embrace." 
Using old tape machines is much easier than software. I used only software when I started making this kind of music but I prefer analogue now.

MI: Compared to your previous works, how would you say this album is different?

AO: All I can say is less guitar, more keys. Each album has different emotions and stories, as well.   

MI: Do you limit yourself with rules while writing (example, only allowed to use one guitar, or not allowed certain effects)? Or do you keep all your options open?

AO: There is no limit. I will use a fuzz pedal or whatever if the song needs it. But I try not to use plugin effects and stay organic as I can. Also, I record almost every track in one or two takes. i don't sit around and think "what should come next?" 

MI: What is your favorite piece of musical equipment you own? Can you tell us the story behind it?

AO: I'm not a gear head by any means but I love old guitars. I use 60s guitar and old pedals. It doesn't have to be OLD really and I use newer stuff too, but I do like older gear. 

I played a bright red Fender Mustang on the title track "Flow" which my grand mother bought for me 10 years ago. It's not a vintage guitar but that is a special one.

And there is one vintage pedal that I really love and always use but this is secret ;)

MI: How is the ambient music scene in Japan? Do you feel that people are very receptive to this style of music?

AO: This sounds pretty weird but to be honest I don't know. Sorry! I don't really follow the scene or genre. 
All I need to do is keep moving forward and making more music.

You can purchase Flow on cassette at ORCHID TAPES. You can also download the album for free on the ORCHID TAPES Bandcamp.

Amandus Schaap of Equal Stones talks Self Deliverance

Amandus Schaap of Equal Stones talks Self Deliverance