Boomkat Product Review:
Following on from the ambient touches of last year's Love Or Die, Mother finds prolific electronic composer Susumu Yokota hooking up with a number of vocalists for a collection of vocally-driven song-based compositions. Guesting on the album are a host of contributors, including Efterklang's Caspar Klausen, Our Broken Garden's Anna Bronsted and members of The Chap. Nancy Elizabeth of the Leaf label stands out in particular, largely thanks to a run of three outstanding tracks towards the beginning of the album: 'Breeze' couples simple electronic beats with dramatically charged string sequences, all reinforcing the steady whisper of the Wigan-born singer's unwaveringly strong, even vocal. 'Ray Of Light' is less rigidly structured, relying on a feathery ambience spun from dislocated rhodes phrases and hushed vocal harmonies, while 'A Flower White' introduces a more mobilised sound complete with guitar riffs and a full complement of beats. Everything here seems to be cast in that complex yet familiarly synthetic Susumu Yokota sound, coated in glistening reverb and strange, atmospheric midi gestures. This is probably best exemplified by the almost Cocteau Twins-like 'Meltwater', imbued with an airy sense of abstraction and all-round otherness that detaches the vocal from conventional, 'real' songwriting. There's a touch of Robert Wyatt to the melody of 'Suture', its multi-layered male-female vocal interacting with sleepy, filtered drums and a wall of hazy, digitally rendered orchestration drifting around in the background. Only one track here features Yokota unaccompanied by singers: closing piece 'Warmth' is an echo chamber piano solo in a similar vein to Library Tapes and the like - it's by far the most straight-forward track on the album, but also probably one of the most resonant. A very strong showing from the veteran composer, Mother finds him sounding replenished and still vital, even twenty or so albums into his career. Recommended.