AMN Reviews

AMN Reviews: Yamaoka – Long Takes (Facade Electronics)

After spending the better part of a decade as a YMO-inspired duo, Hokkaido’s Yamaoka has been under the sole proprietorship of Kenichi Oka since 2007, during which time he has assembled an impressive discography on an equally impressive roster of labels. This time, the veteran producer offers Long Takes on fledgling Mexican imprint Facade Electronics, in an eye-catching, lemon yellow sleeve. 

The music within is as bright and shiny as its cover. Despite its title, the album’s first track is actually quite short, barely ninety seconds. The subsequent eleven “takes” do however take their time, and they breathe deeply, expand and weave a special kind of extroverted magic. Helming a bank of synthesizers and unaided by computers, Oka designs elaborately symmetrical and propulsive pieces in real time. The whirlpool of Philip Glass-like repetition and rolling Tangerine Dream-y sequences create a methodical structure within which Oka thrives. As they swirl, each track fascinates with its nuanced detail and unexpected colors. He is furthermore deft at shaping the air around his notes, as displayed on the ambient excursion “Take 5,” with its tiny, banjo-like stings, and the dub sensibility of “Take 6.” The light simply pours out of Long Takes.

Stephen Fruitman

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