Once a duo, in 2007 Yamaoka became the sole province of Kenichi Oka, and if nothing else, the man hasn’t lain fallow since. On the contrary, he’s continued to ply his trade across a veritable smorgasbord of labels worldwide, and, thankfully, virtually all of it has been on our blessed CD or CDR formats. Making his Carpe Sonum debut, it’s easy to understand why the nomadic Yamaoka is one of electronica’s great hopes for the future. Style-wise, he doesn’t relish sitting still very often, and the remarkable thing is that he traverses such swift alterations in form and function with a singular dexterity. “On Switch” makes mincemeat out of hoary old drum ’n’ bass flexisms due to its liquifying background wetwork and spastic yet cooling synth tropes. Conversely, the achingly lovely chordal loops ringing throughout “Duet” truly paint a picture of what you soul might look like. And “Three Stairs” reasonably ‘remixes’ Tangerine Dream’s lost sequencer art for 21st century nu-school converts, suborning the genre while systematically tweaking it to suit those whose sensibilities arose from IDM’s golden era. Wow and flutter, with emphasis on the wow.
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