Susumu Yokota Sakura on 2LP + CD
Susumu Yokota's Skintone label is designed to facilitate musical projects with an introspective feel, rather than dancefloor bent he is perhaps better known for (Yokota was one of Japan's biggest house/techno DJs). It's these releases, Magic Thread and Image 1983-1998, that Leaf has brought to a wider audience and enjoyed enormous critical acclaim for in the UK and Europe.
2000's Sakura is the third album of this reflective creative thread, bringing in subtle elements of deep house and vocal lines to culminate this initial trio of beguiling ambient works. An album in the classic sense, Sakura is a 50 minute ever-so delicate slow build to a gentle crescendo, weaving tendrils of melody through spiralling loops and heartbeats to complete a water colored study in the vagaries of the human spirit.
It highlights Yokota's remarkable ability for imbuing ambient sounds with eccentric personality and enveloping warmth and depth. Sakura features the original version of "Naminote" that made its way onto the deep house Mix EP (DOCK 23). Sakura takes on a new significance in light of his passing earlier this year. There have been heartfelt tributes to his work from all corners of the music world, and it seems fitting that this beloved album, one of the label's earliest and best-selling releases, be made available again.