Though it has been 11 years since his last album, Keigo Oyamada never really went away. The studio wizard known as Cornelius has spent the past decade diversifying his portfolio: creating soundtracks for anime and educational TV; playing in electro super-group Metafive and collaborating with J-pop singer Salyu; touring with Yoko Ono and Yellow Magic Orchestra; and remixing everyone from Philip Glass to Sakanaction.
Speaking to The Japan Times last summer, Oyamada gave a prosaic reason for reviving his solo project: "I want to do some of the things I couldn't do in those contexts," he said, referring to his various extracurricular activities. "I haven't had much chance to do vocals, so I think I'm going to make a bunch of songs I can sing myself."
It's an interesting statement coming from a performer who has never seemed especially comfortable in the limelight. On his most famous album, "Fantasma" — which marks its 20th anniversary this September — Oyamada outed himself as a massive record geek while revealing little else, preferring to let himself get lost in the music. As his productions grew more spacious and refined on 2001's "Point" and 2006's "Sensuous," it became harder to discern a human presence behind them.