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Album Review

This EP served as a teaser to Nobukazu Takemura's album Hoshi No Koe. While his previous album Scope focused on his serious and abstract side, the mood here is more playful and similar in sprit to the music Takemura has made as Child's View. The title track is actually a straightforward pop song, complete with charming, awkward beats and vocodered vocals. The childlike and cartoony nature of "Sign" gives the song an innocent feel that's still vaguely melancholy, and Takemura's dense, multi-layered production is a treat for lovers of pure sound. "Cogwheel" combines disorienting computerized percussion with faint music box melodies. The second side of this EP consists of a long improvised jam between Takemura and habitués of Chicago's post-rock scene, including Bundy K. Brown on guitar, Douglas McCombs on bass, and John McEntire on drums. While there are some fascinating passages on "Souvenir in Chicago," including sections inspired by a shared love of the minimalism of Steve Reich, the piece never quite becomes a coherent work. A lengthy coda consisting of Takemura's exploration of CD skips is probably the most affecting passage on the track. Still, it's interesting to hear Takemura using his sound manipulation gifts in a live setting, and "Souvenir in Chicago" worth a listen for admirers of both abstract electronics and improvised instrumental rock.

Biography

Born: August, 1968 in Osaka, Japan

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Kyoto-based producer Nobukazu Takemura's career has followed an odd trajectory for an artist produced by the club scene. He emerged as a hip-hop DJ in the mid-'80s, inspired by the Japanese leg of the legendary Wild Style tour (largely credited for introducing hip-hop to Japan). A short-lived career as a battle DJ led Takemura to shift focus to the mixing desk in the late '80s, and within a few years, he was releasing tracks through Mo'Wax, Lollop, and Bungalow under the names DJ Takemura and Spiritual...
Full bio
Sign, Nobukazu Takemura
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