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Album Review

Using a computer like a DJ uses a turntable, Nobukazu Takemura samples instruments from piano to vibraphone, and adds bouncy beats and even "speech-synthe" vocals to create a retro-futuristic playland. On 10th, Takemura focuses on bright and playful sound collages that bear resemblance to the vibe of Air, the style of Tortoise, and Mouse on Mars' use of instruments as opposed to computer-generated sounds. "Machine's Dream" is a jaunty, robot fantasy come to life. "A Puff of Word" ticks, scatters, and gurgles like a groovy, toy factory assembly line. On "Lost Treasure," Takemura proves he can make synthetic vocals sing — the voice is not from a vocoder, "speech-synthe" technology was developed to help people with certain disabilities communicate more easily. 10th is a record that is sometimes ambient ("Mumble"), sometimes built on simple, uplifting loops ("Cons"), and sometimes even constructed around driving rhythms ("Perch") — but the album is always fantastical and innocent, a meeting of magic and technology.

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
10th, Nobukazu Takemura
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