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Susumu Yokota – Symbol

January 26, 2010

Susumu Yokota - Symbol

A very curious little album. As far as the content goes, it’s Girl Talk with classical music, that is sampling collages with instrumental source material. Which will probably be really fun for some people and really gimmicky to others, and for others still less familiar with classical music, a bit of an adventure. Yokota still retains some of his dance sensibilities, resulting in some awfully cool sampling and rhythmic loops that make a lot of the more obvious tracks here really beautiful and even sexy (“Long Long Silk Bridge,” “Purple Rose Minuet,” “Blue Sky and Yellow Sunflower”). What’s weird, though, is that the other, less obvious tracks make it a sleeper- a lot of moments on here that initially sound gimmicky will have you (or, at least had me) double taking upon further listening, and the album has a really large, initially hidden supply of mysterious, surprising moments. Part of it might have to do with “Claire de Lune” and “Moonlight Sonata” being played out of context so much that they no longer sound like they’re in the wrong place, but I think it also has to do with Susumu Yokota just being a smart arranger. He still knows how to do a lot with a little (“The Plateau Which The Zephyr of Flora Occupies,” “The Dying Black Swan”) and has a desire to challenge both himself and his listeners. Symbol might overstay it’s welcome for some people, but given a chance it can even get doubters rewinding and listening closer to their stereos. So basically, it’s another great Susumu Yokota album.

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