Boomkat Product Review:
Now at a special price - while stocks last! Love Or Die might be categorised as one of Susuma Yakota's ambient albums, but that's perhaps too strict a categorisation for a record so balanced as this. For all the wealth of textured, synthetic atmosphere, you'll still find a backbone of electronic rhythms running through these recordings, starting with the digital waltz 'For The Other Self Who Is Far Away That I Cannot Reach'. At first you might be struck by how artificial all this sounds: the synth piano and strings, bathed in reverb, take some getting used to but as you work your way through the record this sort of language becomes all the more endearing - heck, using these sorts of MIDI-style instruments is something that could practically be termed as vintage nowadays, so it's certainly not without its charms. In compositional terms, tracks like 'That Person's Hearsay Protects My Free Spirit' have a kind of spongy lightness to them and an airy melodic presence, while something like 'A Song Produced While Floating Alone On Christmas Day' has an Orb-like warm 4/4 ambience. Elsewhere you'll hear the sort of programmed beats - and even Aphex-style breakbeats - that recall a classic early nineties electronic language, After the initial shock of just how 'keyboardy' the album is, Love Or Die's beauty and elegance soon becomes apparent, and you'll be happy to file this next to the likes of Grinning Cat and Sakura.