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Boomkat Product Review:
Vaknar unveil eight soundscapes from shadowy Japanese producer Yosuke Tokunaga that join the dots between psychedelic ambient sounds, glitch music and dusty half-speed trip-hop. If Jan Jelinek had been on Mo'Wax...
It's easy to forget the huge fingerprint Japan had on the trip-hop movement. Not only appropriating Japanese imagery, Mo'Wax also made sure artists like Major Force and DJ Krush were given a platform outside of Japan, and the scene only deepens when you look closer. We're don't have much info about Yosuke Tokunaga but from the sound of "8 Quadrants" he was listening to at least some of this output. The record isn't trip-hop exactly, but that sample-based technique is in its DNA for sure. Beats aren't always audible but they're always present, and while the artist uses samples as freely and creatively as Jan Jelinek, there's a dustiness that transports us back to another era.
The best tracks are those that precisely capture this mood, blending murky cinematics with uneven thumps and white noise washes. 'Qua drants' almost harmonizes with Jake Muir's illbient-inspired "Mana", curving bendable jazz drums beneath smoked-out piano twinkles and swirling pads, while 'Quadr ants' sounds like a half-speed soundtrack to a spy movie set in a Tokyo suburb.