Shinjuku Thief

Bloody Tourist

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The Shinjuku Thief debut, produced by Paul Schütze and featuring additional work by Charles and Francois Tétaz, is another notable landmark in the development of invisible-soundtrack urban ambience, heavy on the bongos, fretless bass, environmental samples, and late-night saxophone as well as Oriental instruments, including shakuhachi and Balinese vocals. The opener "Komachi Ruins" begins with Japanese chanting and some ghostly chimes worthy of the track title, but later explodes into an electric guitar workout with synthesizers eerily reminiscent of the Miami Vice theme. While several tracks use martial arts vocal samples, for the most part the album retains acoustic and organic vibes -- a fact which makes the occasional digital intrusion much more pivotal than it would otherwise (like the shift from distorted beats to symphonic percussion on "Burden of Dreams").

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