Lush ambient techno from Japan’s Yamaoka. A BAOA Q is one of those repetitive discs that makes you lose all sense of time and responsibility. Light enough to float away on yet intricate enough to warrant close listening. All created in real time on analogue equipment, these synth-bubbling songs are imbued with genuine human warmth. Out on CD in recycled card sleeve from DISQ AN.
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- A BAOA Q by Yamaoka
8/10 Laurie Staff review, 18 March 2015
DISQ AN are one of those no-bull old skool labels that puts all their CDs in the same blank white sleeve, with only 6 capital letters to tantalise. It’s all about the music, right? Well, sort of, but luckily their output so far must have obliterated any doubt on their release quality. You may remember that pretty sweet Darren Harper CD from a coupla months ago - this follows in a similar vein of smothered ambient electronica.
Japanese geez Kenichi Oka aka Yamaoka has stolen half of his mate’s name and is now jamming out solo. This gives him full control of the expansive soundworlds he conjures, all with a bunch of hardware gizmos from which he pulls a big pool o’ rhythmic ambient melancholy. It’s billed as techno but in fact is a little more obscured from that - the ‘beats’ are hardly standard or even intelligible in places. Take the first track for instance, now that’s a beat that’s hard to grapple onto. If you came here for that, then head straight for track 5, a frantic upbeat mover featuring a punchy kick with many many echoed tails of melody running off. It is here that Yamaoka really hits the spot, on those walls of melodic tones and hats that bubble, sizzle and yawn into the abyss. Track 3 is full of pianos lost in the coil of a slinky with more than a few nods to Selected Ambient Works. Beautiful.
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