THE WIRE MAGAZINES'S ELECTRONICA ALBUM OF THE YEAR 2000|
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 is 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. '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 watercoloured 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).