Praise for Mellow Waves:
"...truly visual music, and a rare case in which one enhances the other..." - NPR
"Many of the details [of Mellow Waves] pick up where Sensuous left off, from the warm synthesizer notes to the soft drum clips, to his love of accentuating his lyrics with, instrumentals that mimic their meaning..." - Pitchfork
"Keigo Oyamada; a.k.a. the ORIGINAL sound-collage-maestro and top-shelf orchestrator of playful, electro-acoustic music, a.k.a...uh, well, CORNELIUS, man! — is back." - Tiny Mix Tapes
Japanese innovator, producer and musician Cornelius reveals the next in the series of black and white animated videos for his album Mellow Waves. The video for "Dear Future Person" was directed by groovisions and features an adorable cat exploring an apartment. The lyrics for the song were written by Shintaro Sakamoto from cult 90s Japanese band Yura Yura Teikoku.
Cornelius will tour the US beginning March 7th in Washington, DC and will include a stop in New York City, which has not seen a Cornelius live set for more than 10 years, on March 9th. The tour will conclude in Los Angeles at the Fonda Theater on March 20th. Full dates below.
Cornelius will also be heading to Europe in 2018, with a slot at Barcelona's Sonar festival confirmed and more dates to be announced.
Mellow Waves, Cornelius's first album in over 11 years, will be available in a limited deluxe edition pop-up gatefold vinyl (including phenakistoscope animation insert), standard package on 180g, CD and cassette format on January 26 2018 via Rostrum Records. The album was previously released digitally in July 2017. Mixing eastern avant-electronica and krautrock with jazz and bossa nova, Mellow Waves is Cornelius's most personal work to date, focusing on melody and the tremolo sound.
US Tour Dates:
March 7 – 9:30 Club – Washington, DC
March 9 – Irving Plaza – New York City
March 10 – The Warhol at Carnegie Lecture Hall – Pittsburgh, PA
March 13 – The Showbox – Seattle, WA
March 14 – Revolution Hall – Portland, OR
March 16 – The Independent – San Francisco, CA – SOLD OUT
March 17 – The Independent – San Francisco, CA
March 20 – Fonda Theater – Los Angeles, CA
Cornelius made his name in the 90s as "the Japanese Beck" with cult albums such as the genre defying Fantasma (1997), which mixed the 60s harmonies of The Beach Boys with krautrock and French pop, and the precise found-sounds glitch electronica of Point (2002) and Sensuous (2006). As Patrick St. Michael from Stereogum explains, he created; "a genre-skipping and time-traveling take on pop that defined 'cool' to many in Japan over the decade (not to mention get him critical love and a label deal abroad [with Matador Records])."
In the intervening years between his last Cornelius album Sensuous in 2006 and now, Oyamada has been busy working on a variety of projects. Notably appearing in Yoko Ono's Plastic Ono Band, who appeared at the Meltown Festival in 2013 (the band also featured Sean Lennon and Yuka Honda of Cibo Matto). He has played with Yellow Magic Orchestra and collaborated with J-pop artist Salyu to create the project salyu x salyu. He has also worked on several film scores including Edgar Wright's Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and the anime mega-film Ghost in the Shell Arise, which helped inspire the Mellow Waves album track "Surfing On Mindwave Pt. 2.", which is a song about a continuous wave.
The album Mellow Waves sees Cornelius in a contemplative mood with themes around getting older and his childhood idols dying off (Prince, Michael Jackson, David Bowie). The track "The Spell Of A Vanishing Loneliness?" has guest vocals from Miki Berenyi of Lush, after realising 10 years ago they are distant relatives.
The design aspect has always been hugely important to Cornelius and this is demonstrated through the artwork and visuals for Mellow Waves. He works closely with video directors to create visual masterpieces, including the two videos released so far for the album, "If You're Here" directed by Koichiro Tsujikawa, "Sometime / Someplace" directed by Yugo Nakamura, who is the visual designer for the project, as well as and the stunning "In A Dream".