Susumu Yokota

Magic Thread

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Limited to a mere thousand vinyl copies and released without fanfare in between a pair of more widely heralded records, The Magic Thread bears the distinction of being the closest thing Susumu Yokota has to a forgotten stepchild. Compared to his other albums, each of which are more carefully contemplated than this, it's evident why. Even by Yokota's admittedly threadbare standards, The Magic Thread is a thoroughly understated record that never seems to realize its potential. As such, the shocks of melody (such as those that render Image 1983-1998 so eerily affecting) are not nearly as prominent, the subterranean beats not nearly as compelling. Although anchored evenly by elements nicked from Yokota's two abiding interests (retrogressive, drugged-out house and lush, melodic soundscapery), the parts comprising this record ultimately amount to an off-putting mélange in which the odd beautiful, chiming coda too frequently yields to a droning, disinteresting clatter. Recommended for acolytes only.

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