View Full Version : Susumu Yokota

22-05-2005, 11:21 PM
He has a new album out, 'Symbol'. It's a little strange - over the course of 12 tracks, he takes about three dozen instantly-recognisable snippets from classical music (Mozart, Mussorsky, Katachourian, Beethoven, Chopin), mixes them with electronic beats, ethereal vocals and turkish or african style instrumentation. It often works, but sometimes it's overegged, sounding a little like a cut'n'paste Daily Mail 'Popular Classics' compilation. But when it all comes together, the results are as sublimely evocative as his earlier work (but never better than Sakura).

Still, worth a squirt.

24-05-2005, 08:20 PM
Hmm, the indeaference is diffening.

Some sound samples here:




It's not all grime, grime, grime.

25-05-2005, 07:11 AM
That was really cool. Especially the second one. Got anymore stuff like this (besides the album)?

25-05-2005, 10:35 AM
Hmm, the indeaference is diffening.

It's not all grime, grime, grime.

Sorry - I have never got the Susumu Yokata thing. Everyone hypes him in electronica (Grinning Cat especially) and I just don't get it.

25-05-2005, 11:33 AM
thanks for the samples - I'll listen when I'm not on an office computer.

I'm sort of intrigued by this album - I love pretty much everything Yokota's done so far, including the harder stuff on 1999, but when I read the (negative) review of this in last month's Wire I thought maybe he'd lost it a bit. I mean, I guess it's not a surprise that he'd try something like this, but it's just an idea I'm pretty sceptical could work. Now I just wish I'd brought my headphones with me to work :confused: :rolleyes:

25-05-2005, 01:18 PM
Sorry - I have never got the Susumu Yokata thing. Everyone hypes him in electronica (Grinning Cat especially) and I just don't get it.

Sakura is definitely worth a listen, I think it's his best and one of my all-time favourites... of all time. It's a lot less fiddly and twee than Grinning Cat, for example, and has the similar disembodied atmospherics to both Ambient Works vol I and the Scion arrange and process LP.

26-05-2005, 01:53 PM
Not listened to it yet, but the track titles almost feel like pastiche.

"The Pleateau Which the Zephyr of Flora Occupies"

"Symbol of Life, Love and Aesthetics"

Perfect to soundtrack gardening TV shows now fourtets stopped being so folky?

26-05-2005, 02:51 PM
Classical mashups, anyone?

Hmm, I'm not sold on these tracks yet. They tread a very fine line between inspired and utterly twee, and fall on both sides of that line at different times. I think the third one, 'The dying black swan' works best - the beats in the other two just tip the balance in the favour of naff.

Actually, listening to 'the dbs' again, I really like it. He's reined himself in a bit more on that, which is when his music's generally best anyway.

27-05-2005, 09:58 PM
Do anyone remember the early Yokota, when he was making trance/acid/chill out? Frankfurt Tokyo Connection and especially Zen remain some of my favorite albums from that era, and I actually like them better than anything he have made since (even if I like some of that too). Not to fond of him when he goes house/lounge, like onCat, Mouse and Me.

As for classical mash ups - I'm not sure if its what you're thinking of, but try Oleg Kostrows Snow Queen.

27-05-2005, 10:30 PM
Classical mashups, anyone?
Gas Zauberberg (1998) is the first thing that comes to my mind. Gas=Wolfgang Voigt/Mike Ink.

Sakura is alright, I reckon.

31-05-2005, 02:44 PM
Brilliant - a throwaway remark, and people come back with record suggestions :D - thanks you two, I'll keep my eyes open :)

31-05-2005, 10:40 PM
You've got to watch what you say around these parts. ;)

23-06-2005, 10:55 PM
That was really cool. Especially the second one. Got anymore stuff like this (besides the album)?

Picked this up a few days ago. The quality of the track varies quite a bit, but its certainly an interesting idea. A few bits remind me of Lucky Pierre (now known as L.Pierre) who's done two albums on Melodic Records (http://www.melodic.co.uk/). If you're liking this Susumu Yokota album, it might be worth checking out Hypnogogia or Touchpool. They aren't quite as intricate as Yokota's stuff, but there's a marked resemblance in the ideas behind it.