Susumu Yokota


(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

Frankfurt - Tokyo Connection (1993), 5/10
Acid Mount Fuji (1994), 4/10
EBI: Zen (1994), 4/10
Acid Mount Fuji (1994), 4/10
Ringo: Plantation (1995), 4/10
Prism: Metronome Melody (1995), 4/10
Anima Mundi: Anima Beat (1996), 5/10
Cat Mouse And Me (1996), 6/10
Prism: Fallen Angel (1997), 5/10
Stevia: Greenpeace (1997), 4/10
1998 (1998) , 4/10
Magic Thread (1998), 6.5/10
Images (1999), 6/10
1999 (1999) , 4/10
Zero (2000), 4/10
Sakura (2000), 7/10
Grinning Cat (2001), 6.5/10
The Boy And The Tree (2002), 6/10
Sound Of Sky (2002), 5/10
Symbol (2005), 5/10
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Susumu Yokota is a leading Japanese techno composer who began his international career at Berlin's Love Parade in 1993. The German albums Frankfurt - Tokyo Connection (Harthouse, 1993) and Zen (Space Teddy, 1994) were followed by the Japanese album Acid Mount Fuji (Sublime, 1994). He was also active as Ringo, with the album Plantation (Sublime, 1995), as Prism, with the albums Metronome Melody (Sublime, 1995) and Fallen Angel (Sublime, 1997), as Anima Mundi, with the album Anima Beat (New Stage, 1996), and as Stevia, with the album Greenpeace (NS-com, 1997).

So far Yokota's career had been merely a commercial summary of the trendy dance genres, an activity that continued successfully with the albums 1998 (Sublime, 1998), 1999 (Sublime, 1999), Zero (Sublime, 2000), which are repetitive at best. But Cat Mouse And Me (Harthouse, 1996) was his first experimental album, and it established Yokota as more than a beat generator. The album's intricate grooves, that quoted from acid jazz and hip hop, were elegantly woven in a continuum of sonic bliss.

Except for the industrial dance of Metabolic, Yokota turned to ambient house on Magic Thread (Skintone, 1998 - Leaf, 2000). Images (Skintone, 1999), a collection of old recordings in the ambient/trance vein (Counterfeit Song) was coherent with the new direction.

By the time Sakura (Skintone, 2000) was released, Yokota had become a disciple of Brian Eno's impressionistic music (Saku, Gekkoh). Unlike most of his competitors, his foray in this genre is articulate and eclectic thanks mainly to his background in techno (Genshi) and jazz (Naminote).
Tracks: Saku, Tobiume, Uchu Tanjyo, Hagoromo, Genshi, Gekkoh, Hisen, Azukiiro No Kaori, Kodomotachi, Naminote, Shinsen, Kirakiraboshi

Continuing in his evolution towards more and more abstract structures, Grinning Cat (Leaf, 2001) nods at the minimalism of Terry Riley, Steve Reich and Philip Glass (Lapis Lazuli) and at his old passion, acid-jazz (So Red). The mostly piano-driven tracks employ simple melodies the way a falling feather employs the friction of the air (Sleepy Eye, Tears of a Poet, Imagine, King Dragonfly, Card Nation , Cherry Blossom, Love Bird).

The Boy And The Tree (Leaf, 2002) uses ambient house to create an impressionistic journey which could also be the soundtrack to an anime movie.

But Sound Of Sky (Exceptional, 2002) is soft melodic muzak pretending to be avantgarde dance music.

Symbol (Lo, 2005) is built around samples of classical music: Yokota as the Walter Carlos of the age of sampling?

Distant Sounds Of Summer (Lo, 2005) collects the EP Waters Edge (2002) and new collaborations with Rothko.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Paolo Latini)

Susumu Yokota è uno dei maggiori autori techno giapponesi. La sua carriera internazionale è cominciata al Berlin's Love Parade nel 1993. Gli album tedeschi Frankfurt - Tokyo Connection (Harthouse, 1993) e Zen (Space Teddy, 1994) sono stati seguiti dall'album giapponese Acid Mount Fuji (Sublime, 1994). Yokota ha anche realizzato alcuni album sotto diversi moniker: come Ringo l'album Plantation (Sublime, 1995), come Prism gli albums Metronome Melody (Sublime, 1995) e Fallen Angel (Sublime, 1997), come Anima Mundi l'album Anima Beat (New Stage, 1996), e come Stevia l'album Greenpeace (NS-com, 1997).

In sostanza, la carriera di Yokota è stata una mera summa commerciale dei generi da ballo di volta in volta imposti dalla moda, un'attività che ha avuto un felice prosieguo con gli albums 1998 (Sublime, 1998), 1999 (Sublime, 1999), Zero (Sublime, 2000), dischi tutt'al più ripetitivi. Con Cat Mouse And Me (Harthouse, 1996), il suo primo album sperimentale, Yokota ha saputo dimostrare di essere qualcosa di più di un semplice generatore di beat. Gli intricati grooves dell'album, che citano dall'acid jazz e dall'hip hop, sono elegantemente intrecciati in un continuum di beatitudine sonica.

Con l'eccezione della dance industriale di Metabolic, Yokota si è rivolto all'ambient house su Magic Thread (Skintone, 1998 - Leaf, 2000). Images (Skintone, 1999), una raccolta di vecchie registrazioni di stampo ambient/trance (Counterfeit Song) è coerente con la nuova direzione presa.

Intanto esce Sakura (Skintone, 2000), e Yokota è diventato un discepolo della musica impressionistica di Brian Eno (Saku, Gekkoh). Diversamente da molti suoi colleghi, il suo le sue incursioni in questo genere sono articolate ed eclettiche, grazie soprattutto al suo retroterra techno (Genshi) e jazz (Naminote).

La sua evoluzione verso strutture sempre più astratte continua con Grinning Cat (Leaf, 2001), che ammicca al minimalismo di Terry Riley, Steve Reich e Philip Glass (Lapis Lazuli) e alla sua vecchia passione, l'acid-jazz (So Red). Le molte tracce pianistiche sfruttano semplici melodie nello stesso modo in cui una piuma sfrutta la frizione dell'aria (Sleepy Eye, Tears of a Poet, Imagine, King Dragonfly, Card Nation , Cherry Blossom, Love Bird).

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