Nobukazu Takemura, 10th

Andy Battaglia

By Andy Battaglia

on 04.22.11 in Reviews


Nobukazu Takemura
The laptop dicer-and-enticer at his most mellow.

For a technician normally found staring down details, Nobukazu Takemura sounds laid-back and enamored with the idea of song on 10th. His dice-and-entice laptop approach still abounds (and his idea of song remains less than conventional), but foregrounded robot vocals give most of 10th a humming lilt. In "Perch," synth-processed voices swim in a glitchy sonic soup, suggesting a melody in a current of xylophones, bells and static. "Wandering" congeals into a miniaturized dance track &#8212 all syncopated clicks galloping beneath a pensive Vocoder hook. The uniformity of vocal tone threatens to wear thin after a few songs, but primitive Speak & Spell invocations prove a homey fit within Takemura's gameful backdrops, which shutter and twitch when not leaning back in loungey repose. 10th doesn't show Takemura at his most focused or attentive, but its mellow moods gather into a yawning rapture by the end.