Towa Tei

Last Century Modern

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Towa Tei's third album returns to the eclecticism of his first, with bossa nova lounge ("A Ring"), drum'n'bass soul ("Angel," "Butterfly"), Ryuichi Sakamoto-like ethnic forgery ("Stretch Building Bamboo"), and silly sampladelic house ("Congratulations!," which samples somebody saying "The finest turntable in the world" until the all the words become meaningless). Once again, Tei assembles an impressive roster of guest musicians and gleefully watches what happens when they meet. Japanese chanteuse UA, accordionist Coba, and the Balanescu Quartet open the album with the sophisticated title track. Elsewhere on the CD, Pascale Borel, Les Nubians, and Chara add vocals, and two thirds of YMO, Harry Hosono, and Yukihiro Takahashi turn up as well. The album is also surprisingly short, and the stronger for it. The American release adds remixes of "Butterfly" and "Let Me Know" by Cornelius and Mighty Bop, respectively.

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