Sublime ethereal minimalism from Hiroyuki Onogawa on this retrospective compilation album for Mana, the first dedicated release and remaster of his soundtrack compositions. The album August in the Water: Music for Film 1995-2005 plots a decade of Onogawa’s compositions for films by the renowned filmmaker Gakuryū Ishii (formally known as Sogo Ishii). Ishii’s left-field and trailblazing cinema has proven highly influential - Crazy Thunder Road (1980) is frequently cited as the starting pistol for the Japanese cyberpunk genre  - and unfathomably difficult to source outside of Japan. This, coupled with the mysterious and artistic nature of the films, has seen him build a cult-like following. Most of his oeuvre remains undistributed outside Japan, though Third Window Films has recently taken great strides toward making some titles available internationally. This retrospective publication, sequenced into an album by Onogawa himself, spans a fertile period of collaboration with Ishii, through soundtracks for three remarkable films: August in the Water (1995), Labyrinth of Dreams (1997), and Mirrored Mind (2005). Each feels texturally and sensually linked with the spiritual, ambient, dreamlike quality that lingers in Onogawa’s music. The sound Onogawa conjures for these films is elegant and patient, often minimal or essential in form, but saturated in a poetic emotion and atmosphere that feels strange and otherworldly, touched by the metaphysical in subtle ways. Boundaries are crossed between New Age and science fiction, locating a blissfulness, melancholy and paranoia within the same spectrum, and moving toward an enchanting sense of mood and colour. It’s notable that the compositions on this album straddle the millennium, and the mix of divine and uncertain themes in the music carry that currency. New listeners might hear links to Mark Snow’s compositional work for the X-Files and Millennium, or other celebrated future-facing and future-fearing Japanese anime or cyberpunk. Onogawa’s music adds great depth and tenor to the sensory experience of the films themselves, but it stands just as strongly as a listening experience on its own terms, a virtuosic example of ambient that changes in hue when turned in the light. Remarkably, and in similar circumstances to Ishii, Onogawa’s work has never been widely available outside of (always highly enthusiastic) underground fan posts, usually sourced from extremely limited and private CDs limited to Japan. This retrospective seeks to remedy that, and hopes to achieve recognition for Onogawa as one of the great composers of the last three decades. Onogawa continues to work in film, both in the creation of soundtracks, and now as a producer and director. He composed the music for Koji Fukada’s Harmonium (2016), which won the Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival, as well as for Fukada’s A Girl Missing (2019). As a director, he received the Grand Prize for Best Short Film in the Noves Visions category at the Sitges Festival in 2022 for Flashback Before Death (Guu) , co-directed with Rii Ishihara. This release includes liner notes specially commissioned by writer Tony Rayns, and words by Gakuryū Ishii.