Tuesday, July 14, 2015

R.I.P. Susumu Yokota

If you haven't heard it yet, drop everything and go listen to his album Sakura now.  It's stunning.  As are scores of moments from his extensive back catalogue. Sad to lose such an immense talent.

"When Susumu Yokota is not making music, he’s making more music. So, there’s perhaps no one more deserving of this fitting primer (compiled by Chiller Cabinet’s Ben Eshmade) on the intimidating back catalogue of the often brilliant electronic genius. Those coming to this album in a wintry climate will not be disappointed. I can attest to the fact that the warm and inviting melodies perform perfect room tone for staring into the fireplace or out the window on a snowy day. Yokota’s compositions here assimilate the pastoral into the technological with deftness and considerable charm. Traditional Eastern instruments meet with Aphexy otherworldly atmospherics, haiku-like melodies, and the occasional wonderfully lost bottom-of-a-canyon/ top-of-a-mountain/ trapped in a dream echo vocal. Most impressive of all, Eshmade assembles Yokota’s work so it sounds like a continuum, from the deep space droning of Laputa‘s Labradford-esque “Iconic Air” to the Debussy remix “Purple Rose Minuet” off Yokota’s 2005 album Symbol to the youthful sugar high breakbeat bounce of “Illusion River”. Yokota fulfills the kind of utopian fantasy of Japan as alien grace and wonderment energy dome that Sofia Copolla’s Lost in Translation waxed all awed mute about. You can never be more than a tourist, a passenger at best, on his journey, but you’ll be thinking about the trip for years to come.."- Entry in PopMatters' Best Reissues of 2008

My review of Mother

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