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Album Review

Poised halfway between experimental rock and indie pop, Nobukazu Takemura treated Songbook as a songwriter album, inviting Japanese vocalists to help flesh out these guitar- and Casio-driven pop songs. A set of competing synth-brass lines make the opener, "Mahou No Hiroba," a special delight; elsewhere, Takemura appears to enjoy removing so many song elements that listeners are forced to envision what could be added to make a "proper" pop song out of the track. If it sounds unfinished, that's probably the way Takemura wanted it; a few songs sound as though some important elements have been taken out, so a good imagination is necessary to enjoy Songbook.


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...
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Songbook, Nobukazu Takemura
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