Shinichi Atobe's music is just lovely. It's often like a warm bath of deep hazy techno in the style of Chain Reaction, Drexciya or DJ Sprinkles. The reclusive producer is known to simply send his record label a CD of new music every few years with no other dialogue or song titles and they release it as is - that's how essential his stuff is. Yes contains further slowly unfurling beauty from a master of the genre.
Vinyl Double LP £22.99 DDS042
Repress 2LP on DDS. Mastered by Rashad Becker.
A sole 12” for Chain Reaction in 2001 and then he seemingly vanished. Then, after thirteen years of silence, in 2014 Shinichi Atobe re-emerged with an album for Demdike Stare’s DDS label. Now, here we are in 2020 and ‘Yes’ is his fifth album. He’s certainly been making up for lost time, yet his music retains a luxurious, deeply contemplative pace.
The fizzing, slightly erratic melodies of opener ‘Ocean 7’ feel uncertain and constantly in flux, suggesting what follows could possibly veer into darkness… which ‘Lake 2’ does, but not the emotional darkness suggested, rather the tantalizing darkness of the night. A skeletal deep house pulse, shimmering melody and chiming keys lead the way.
After a few spins, there are three tunes, in particular, that really blew my malfunctioning “don’t buy records this week” policy. What these tunes have in common is the producer's knack at creating loops that really burrow deep. The title track is an irresistible piano house smiler, while ‘Lake 3’ is beautifully understated deep techno. The subtle euphoria of ‘Rain 3’ hypnotizes, elevated by what I can only describe as some sort of FM synthesized kalimba ringtone which initially feels out of place, but when it nestles in, feels like a stroke of genius. The album closes with a slight curveball in ‘Ocean’; his signature deep house and soulful keys bolstered by a dreamy aquatic electro-funk edge.
Like all of Shinichi Atobe’s records, this one oozes a sublime sense of melancholy that’s perfect for late-night introspective dancefloor soul searching.
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- Yes by Shinichi Atobe
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