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Susumu Yokota | Laputa (Skintone)
The fourth annual Yokota ambient opus is more than welcome, as ever, in the sense that every other time new material from the Japanese producer appears it turns out to be rank, formulaic, tedious house - no doubt more than adequate for what it is, but not an area that I know a great deal about (nor have I any desire to). Particularly pleasing this time, as 'Laputa' being on Skintone (his own label) was initially a concern, with his previous three ambient pieces being on Leaf, his "spiritual home". Those familiar with 'The Boy and the Tree', 'Grinning Cat' and especially the genre-defining masterpiece 'Sakura' will doubtless know what to expect - and if you don't, I doubt you'll have had the inclination to read this far. Disappointingly but I guess fairly predictably, 'Laputa' offers little or nothing new, simply continuing the themes explored previously and expanding on them slightly - warm, organic, textured, melancholic and -dare I say - pleasant, but ultimately fairly aimless.

Andy Slocombe
CWAS #13 - Autumn 2003